Text Size: Zoom In

Solomon and Jesus

Long ago, a young king of Israel wrote, “Blessed are those who find wisdom, . . . she is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her” (Proverbs 3:13-15 NIV).

The Wisdom of Solomon: To this day, we still tell the story of how God appeared to him in a dream and offered him the desires of his heart (1 Kings 3:5-15).

Instead of asking for personal wealth, a long life, or the death of his enemies, Solomon admitted that he felt like a little child who was not up to the challenge of leading the nation entrusted to him. So he asked for an understanding heart to be a good ruler and judge. God responded by assuring the king that he would get his request and far more. Then Solomon woke up and realized that he had been dreaming (1 Kings 3:15).

Wisdom for justice’s sake: The dream came true. As evidence, the Bible introduces us to two troubled persons who asked Solomon to settle a dispute (1 Kings 3:16-28). The Bible tells us they were harlots with a maternity issue. Both had recently given birth. In the middle of the night, one of their babies died. The distraught mother switched infants as the other mother slept. Now both were claiming the living baby. Neither could provide a witness to support their story or credibility.

So what would a wise king do? After listening to both sides, Solomon called for a sword. His decision was to divide the baby.

One of the women responded with a plea for the child’s life. She offered to give up her claim for the sake of the baby. The other woman agreed with the king saying it would be better to give the baby to neither rather than either.

At this point, Solomon said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him; she is his mother” (1 Kings 3:27 NKJV).

So we are told, “All Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered; and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice” (1 Kings 3:28 NKJV).

But what begins well does not always end well. As great as Solomon’s wisdom was (1 Kings 3:12; 4:29-34), what started with a dream ended like a nightmare. Late in life, he went so far as to build altars to the gods of his pagan wives on the hills overlooking Jerusalem (1 Kings 11:1-13). Although he had been given wisdom to offer justice to others, he ended up needing mercy for himself.

The Wisdom of Jesus: One of the first things the Bible tells us about Jesus is that, as a young man, He grew “in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52 NKJV).

Later, however, the Teacher from Nazareth was sharply criticized by religious leaders who didn’t buy His brand of wisdom. In response, Jesus likened His critics to children sitting in the marketplace playing a game that sounds similar to one children still play (Luke 7:31-32).

In the modern game of Simon Says, whatever “Simon says,” you’re supposed to do. If you get caught doing something that Simon doesn’t say to do, you’re out of the game.

Jesus, however, was not playing a game. He wouldn’t do what the Pharisees wanted Him to do. Instead, He suggested that His wisdom would be seen in its results. In a thought-provoking proverb, He said, “Wisdom is justified by all her children” (Luke 7:35 NKJV).

What kind of wisdom was Jesus talking about? Who were her children? The gospel writer doesn’t leave us wondering for long.

Wisdom for mercy’s sake: According to Luke, a religious Pharisee by the name of Simon invited Jesus home for a meal. Later, as they sat at the man’s table, an unnamed woman who had heard that Jesus was there, invited herself in. All Luke tells us about her identity is that she was “a sinner.”

Overwhelmed with emotion, this woman went to her knees at Jesus’ feet, washed His feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, and then poured expensive perfume on them.

Meanwhile, according to Luke, the Pharisee was thinking to himself that if Jesus were a prophet, He wouldn’t allow Himself to be touched by such a woman. Knowing the man’s heart, Jesus told His host a story about a creditor who mercifully forgave two debtors. One of them had owed far more than the other.

With this much of the story told, Jesus asked Simon which of the two debtors would have a greater love for the one who showed mercy to both of them. The Pharisee saw where Jesus was going. Those who are forgiven much, love much; while those have been forgiven little, love little (Luke 7:47).

In these few words, Jesus foreshadowed the scope of His wisdom. He would go on to win our hearts not merely by His justice but with His mercy. On the very hills that Solomon built altars to false gods, Jesus would offer Himself as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Father in heaven, we will be eternally grateful that You did not leave us with merely a wisdom of justice. Like Solomon, we desperately needed the merciful wisdom of Your Son. —Mart DeHaan


Vote on whether you think this post is something you'll be thinking about:
Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up (+71 rating, 77 votes)

15 Responses to “Solomon and Jesus”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning all, I hope everyone who could, enjoyed the conclusion to “The Bible” last evening, we did.

    In the beginning Adam and Eve were forbade to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

    The sin was in the disobedience of not following this one rule from God.

    There was no sin it seems in having this forbidden knowledge, only the sin of not obeying God.

    It also seems that knowledge was not forbidden, only once the violation occurred Adam and Eve *learned* that disobedience to God produced evil results.

    Here we speak of wisdom and agree that wisdom is different from knowledge in that wisdoms gives us the special ability to know how best to use knowledge.

    Without knowledge, especially between good and evil, no one can make wise choices.

    If we are truly wise we learn from the mistakes of others, but there is a flaw in human character that makes us test over and over again results that others learned long ago, thus causing us to fall into the same traps they did learning only too late that what they learned could not be passed on to us unless we possessed the *wisdom* to apply their knowledge to our lives.

    Jesus gave us abundant knowledge; it is up to us to be wise enough to know how to apply them to our lives.


  2. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends!

    Thanks for the contrast and comparison of these two leaders who are kings of Israel. Solomon received a great gift from God — wisdom and understanding beyond his fellow humans. But, like the leaky boat we discussed in an earlier conversation, Solomon’s world-view began seeping. It seems his political alliances and his personal appetites allowed in rationalization of the Law of God. He seemingly said, in the 10th c BC what many say today, “Any spirituality is better than no spirituality.”

    Jesus, fully human, fully divine, possesses wisdom that is anchored in his obedience to his heavenly Father — along with divine mercy, grace and a love that is/was/will be the creating force of the universe. His love has transforming power that allows us to say, “With God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26) He declares that any sinner can be cleansed and welcomed into the fellowship of God.

    Grace and power — mercy and power — love and majesty — are freely given to us by Jesus. He transforms death to life — despair to hope — and fills our lives with meaning and purpose.


  3. remarutho says:

    Hey Steve —

    Six of us made it through The Bible mini-series together. It was well worth the effort. Looking back over the statement of faith and the portrayal of Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Creator God, I would say this will be a great evangelism and teaching tool in time to come. Maru

  4. SFDBWV says:

    Maru, I would agree fully, we enjoyed the whole event, but especially the coverage of the NT and our Lord.

    A revival in its own accord for many I hope.


  5. BruceC says:

    What I see in Solomon is that he left the wisdom that came from God and became “wise in his own eyes”.
    Do we not do the same at times when we fail to do what God would have us do? When we do it “our way”?
    Is this not what our culture thrives on; the wisdom of men and having things our way?
    Justice is wiping out every human that lives; as that is what we all deserve. Mercy is offering forgiveness through belief in the only Son of God and His sacrifice in our place. I will take God’s mercy and the wisdom of my Saviour. May we remember to use His wisdom every day that we breathe; and to ask forgiveness when we don’t.
    I should be getting the DVD set of The Bible movie soon. We pre-ordered it so we would not have to wait so long “in line”.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  6. poohpity says:

    If or should I say when we understand the wisdom of mercy, that one very simple component, do we understand or have knowledge of our position with the Lord of the universe. That one area is worth all the gold we could ever come across, the understanding of what our standing truly is before a Mighty God. That wisdom will open us up to more spiritual things and the knowledge of God’s will of showing that to others. With that in mind we can do good and kind things for others as we seek to know God better and better. Micah 6:8; Col 1:9-10

    As I finished watching “The Bible” I was reminded that the book is always better than a movie. So many wonderful things left out and with others the writers spin on them but it was just a portion of all that the Bible contains. Hopefully and prayerfully causing it’s watchers to want to learn more and not be all they ever get. That would be so very, very sad but for some they are satisfied with a movie rather than the real thing and for those I pray the Lord puts it on many hearts to know more about Him than the little itty bitty bit from the movie.

  7. poohpity says:

    Micah 6:8 NLT; Col 1:9-10 NIV

  8. oneg2dblu says:

    good morning… wisdom and knowledge to me is more like this: someone with knowledge might make his knowledge known by citing many verses, where the one with true wisdom, would then apply what those verses say to their life and the world around them and change themselves and the world in so doing.
    Because, Fear of the Lord is the beginning of all Wisdom.
    Like the wisdom shared by Luke…
    Luke 12:4,5 “My friends I tell you, have no fear of those who kill the body and afterward can do nothing more, but I will show you who to fear; fear Him who after taking the life, has the power to cast into hell. Yes, I say to you, fear Him.
    Knowing this verse shows knowledge,application shows wisdom.

  9. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… I loved your book v. movie take, and I would add that having to the author of the book read it to you, is even better.
    “My sheep know my voice and they follow me!”

  10. oneg2dblu says:

    To me, Solomon had shown his great wisdom, for he exercised both justice and mercy in using this one sentence, he was saving a life by serving justice and compassion equally.

  11. poohpity says:

    Gary, Jesus goes on to say in Luke in the next 2 sentences rather than fear what God could do to us we realize just how important we are to Him, Luke 12:6-7 I guess that would be understanding the “wisdom for mercies sake” we are shown by what Jesus did. He lived the justice to show us mercy.

  12. Regina says:

    Good Evening All,

    Was thinking about the wisdom of Solomon, and a question came to mind… How is it that Solomon, with all of his “godly” wisdom, could end up making such foolish decisions about who he should worship? Did he ever come to himself (like the prodigal son) or did he die in a way that brought dishonor to his family (especially his father)?

    Love to all…

    Sunny and beautiful in Texas today (high 70’s)

  13. northseeker says:

    Comparing Solomon to the Christ is like comparing a grain of sand to the universe.
    If We are to understand what transpired at the baptism of Jesus, then We must close our eyes to the knowledge of words & open our heart to the wisdom of our Father and His son
    We can only appreciate what Solomon did, but love what Christ did for us.

  14. cplus0 says:

    An important distinction in today’s world is the difference between wisdom and cleverness. Christ is the representation of wisdom. Satan is the representation of cleverness. Which appears to be dominate in the governing of our great country today? The answer is obvious and should surprise nobody who understands God’s prophetic teachings through the prophets as we move ever closer to the time of Christ’s return. With that reality as a motivator, it may be a good time to put “philosophizing” aside for a moment and focus on the core truth of our faith. If we have family and friends who are still not clear as to what will determine their eternity future, let the reality of what lies ahead motivate us to ask God to open their eyes and soften their hearts to the truth. May the Holy Spirit do for others what He did for me just 13 years ago (I am now 66). May the clever deceit of Satan’s lies be buried in the the wisdom of Christ’s truth in the hearts of those still needing the simple message of salvation. I offer what I call the “Salvation Equation”. C+0=S (Christ plus nothing equals salvation). Many are being mislead with the addition of works, actions, deeds,etc. as necessary components to that simple equation. Every time something is added to that equation, the addition effectively replaces the adequacy of the blood of Christ with a human act. The transitional story of Paul in the book of Acts makes it perfectly clear that it is the simple belief in the Deity and mission of Christ that provides assurance of our salvation/justification in the sight of God, as we are viewed as righteous thru the blood of Christ. The best confirmation of this wise truth is presented in the book “Pentecost and After” by M.R. DeHaan, M.D. So, as we debate the meaning and nuances of “wisdom”,may we devote equal time to praying for the souls of those who still lack the wisdom and discernment to recognize the simple path of salvation.

  15. short357 says:

    As wonderful and amazing that wisdom God gave to King Solomon was in his day, it was no where near the wisdom of Jesus. Solomon was imperfect and limited as a natural human being. Jesus however, perfect in humanity and perfectly divine(supernatural). Jesus had one hundred percent perfect wisdom without limits and had total commitment to God the father. King Solomon had a measure of godly wisdom given to him because he ask God in his tender state of leadership being so young. God was pleased he ask and gave him wisdom and more but that he must walk upright before him. Yet, as time in his life rolled along, somehow King Solomon made the choices in his heart to stop being committed to please God. He ended up worshipping idols and false gods introduced to him by the many wrong wives he chose, the bible says God notice Solomon heart turned from him. So, that godly wisdom he had was not there as in the beginning, but later in his old age he repented and turned back to the true wisdom giver ,God. Thank God his love and mercy allowed him to see what Jesus stated his day,”…without me you can do nothing”. In other words, it is not wise to try to do anything own your own, one really does need godly wisdom in trying to make good choices.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.