In my last letter I was reflecting on the complexity of our world and its problems. It is important to go beyond the dispiriting recognition that the world is in a terrible mess. What does a world whose troubles are as complicated as ours need? We are thankful for people who occasionally make things a little bit better by their efforts. From time to time clever people make a difference by coming up with partial solutions to particular problems. That is welcome. Sometimes power—military or otherwise—is effective in sorting out some difficulties. But most of us recognize that something more is needed.
Another way for Christian people to think about this is to consider: What is it about the Lord Jesus Christ that gives you hope? Hope is confidence about the future. His goodness surpasses any goodness we have ever seen—but it’s more than that. Jesus is more than (mind you, not less than!) the finest example for us to follow of a good person. He is certainly clever (so clever that “clever” is an inadequate word). But again, Jesus is more than (not less than) the greatest teacher the world has ever known. And there is no power greater than his power, by which all things were created. But there is more to Jesus than power. There is more to him than his perfect goodness, complete knowledge and infinite power. Our utter confidence in him has an even firmer foundation.
The Bible teaches that what this complicated world needs is wisdom. We need leaders who are not only good, not only clever, not only strong, but wise. Wisdom understands what is right. In the complications of today’s world, who has the wisdom to do what is right?
The Bible records that long ago, for a brief time, there was a king like that in Israel. It was King Solomon (see 1 Kings 3:11, 12). We read that “the wisdom of God was in him to do what is right” (1 Kings 3:28). Solomon’s wisdom became famous (1 Kings 4:34; 10:1-9), and (for a brief time) his kingdom was brilliantly wonderful (see 1 Kings 4:20). You can read about it in 1 Kings 3-8.
The news the world needs now to hear is that one “greater than Solomon” has come (Matthew 12:42). Jesus Christ is the hope of the whole world because of his wisdom. His contemporaries marveled at his wisdom (Matthew 13:54; cf. Luke 2:40, 52). To us, who belong to him, he is wisdom from God (1 Corinthians 1:30), in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3). The wisdom of Jesus Christ makes sense of our utter confidence in him. We really can trust him with the future of the world.
Your brother in the Lord Jesus Christ
John Woodhouse (Acting Senior Minister)
PS: Again I am sorry not to be with you all today. I am sharing in a church weekend with Grace Evangelical Church in Newcastle – looking forward to our Invitation Sunday next week