“All the Treasures of Wisdom”
1-3. What is the setting for the sermon that Jesus delivers on a spring day in 31 C.E., and why are his listeners astounded?
IT IS a spring day in 31 C.E. Jesus Christ is near Capernaum, a bustling city on the northwest shores of the Sea of Galilee. Up on a mountain in the vicinity, Jesus has prayed in solitude the entire night. As the morning unfolds, he calls his disciples, and from among them he chooses 12, whom he names apostles. Meanwhile, great crowds of people—some from considerable distances—have followed Jesus to this location and are assembled at a level place on the mountain. They are eager to hear what he has to say and to be healed of their ailments. Jesus does not disappoint them.—Luke 6:12-19.
2 Jesus approaches the crowds and heals all who are sick. Finally, when not one among them feels the pain of serious illness, he sits down and begins to teach. His words spoken in the spring air that day must surprise his listeners. After all, they have never heard anyone teach as he does. To give weight to his teachings, he appeals neither to oral traditions nor to well-known Jewish rabbis. Rather, he repeatedly quotes the inspired Hebrew Scriptures. His message is straightforward, his wording simple, his meaning clear. When he is finished, the crowds are astounded. Indeed, they should be. They have just listened to the wisest man who ever lived!—Matthew 7:28, 29.
3 That sermon along with many other things that Jesus said and did is recorded in God’s Word. We do well to dig into what that inspired record says about Jesus, for in him are “all the treasures of wisdom.” (Colossians 2:3) Where did he get such wisdom—the ability to put knowledge and understanding to work in a practical way? How did he manifest wisdom, and how can we follow his example?
“Where Did This Man Get This Wisdom?”
4. What question did Jesus’ listeners in Nazareth raise, and why?
4 During one of his preaching tours, Jesus visited Nazareth, the town where he had been reared, and began teaching in the synagogue there. Many of his listeners were amazed and wondered: “Where did this man get this wisdom?” They knew his family—his parents and siblings—and they were aware that he had come from humble circumstances. (Matthew 13:54-56; Mark 6:1-3) They no doubt also knew that this eloquent carpenter had not attended any of the prestigious rabbinic schools. (John 7:15) Their question thus seemed logical.
5. Jesus revealed that his wisdom was from what source?
5 The wisdom Jesus manifested was not simply the product of his perfect mind. Later in his ministry, when teaching openly in the temple, Jesus revealed that his wisdom was from a far loftier source. “What I teach is not mine,” he said, “but belongs to him that sent me.” (John 7:16) Yes, the Father, who sent forth the Son, was the real source of Jesus’ wisdom. (John 12:49) How, though, did Jesus receive wisdom from Jehovah?
6, 7. In what ways did Jesus receive wisdom from his Father?
6 Jehovah’s holy spirit was at work in Jesus’ heart and mind. Concerning Jesus as the promised Messiah, Isaiah foretold: “Upon him the spirit of Jehovah must settle down, the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of mightiness, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Jehovah.” (Isaiah 11:2) With Jehovah’s spirit resting upon him and guiding his thinking and decisions, is it any wonder that Jesus’ words and actions reflected superlative wisdom?
7 Jesus gained wisdom from his Father in another profound way. As we saw in Chapter 2, during his prehuman existence, which spanned countless ages, Jesus had the opportunity to absorb his Father’s thoughts on matters. We cannot begin to imagine the depth of wisdom that the Son gained at his Father’s side, laboring as God’s “master worker” in the creation of all other things, both animate and inanimate. For good reason, the Son in his prehuman existence is described as wisdom personified. (Proverbs 8:22-31; Colossians 1:15, 16) Throughout his ministry, Jesus was able to draw on the wisdom he had gained alongside his Father in heaven. (John 8:26, 28, 38) Therefore, we need hardly be surprised at the breadth of knowledge and depth of understanding reflected in Jesus’ words or at the soundness of judgment evident in his every deed.
8 As followers of Jesus, we too need to look to Jehovah as the source of wisdom. (Proverbs 2:6) Of course, Jehovah does not impart miraculous wisdom to us. He does, however, answer our earnest prayers for the wisdom necessary to deal successfully with the challenges of life. (James 1:5) To gain that wisdom requires much effort on our part. We need to keep seeking for it “as for hid treasures.” (Proverbs 2:1-6) Yes, we need to continue digging deep down into God’s Word, wherein his wisdom is revealed, and to bring our life into harmony with what we learn. The example of Jehovah’s Son is especially valuable in helping us to acquire wisdom. Let us examine several areas in which Jesus manifested wisdom and learn how we can imitate him.