This morning we cover John 6:1-21.
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Feast With Wisdom
The world lies and laughs. Long ago our first parents, Adam and Eve fell. And one of the enduring results of that fall is that sin has made us stupid. Adam and Eve were in perfect wisdom and harmony with their Lord. But after the fall the intelligence they had, they lost. And the same is true for us today. The sinful world lies to us Christians. And then when we listen to the lies, when we plunge into shame and dishonor, they laugh at us. And it isn’t difficult to find examples, is it? The child in school thinks about cheating on a test. The adult thinks about cheating on his or her income taxes. And then the world lies to them. It tells them that cheating is no big deal. It tells them that everybody does it. Nobody cares about it. And it’s the right thing to do. But then, when that child or adult cheats and then gets caught, where is the world? The sinful voices in the world that were there to lie are not there to help you when you are down. Instead of lifting you up when you fall they laugh at you when you are down.
The world lies and laughs. And, to be real and true and honest this morning, there have been so many times we have listened to the lies the world has to tell. We have listened to them. And then, when the world abandoned us, we were there to feel the shame and embarrassment. All of this I mention for one reason: The world lies and then laughs. But Wisdom—true wisdom from God does the exact opposite. Listen to God’s word: “1 Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out its seven pillars. 2 She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table.” (Proverbs 9:1–2 NIV)
Heavenly wisdom is the opposite of worldly lies. Godly wisdom first of all proves its wisdom. Notice the picture that we find here in these words. Wisdom is rich. She has a big house on a solid foundation. She has a house on the top of the hill, not a shack out back somewhere. She has food—really good food to share. And she has many servants ready to follow her and do what she wants. She does not need to tell the world that she knows what she is doing. She does not need to entice. Why? Everyone can see that what she says is true.
All of this is picture for Godly wisdom. God does not need to prove that he is powerful because anyone in the world can see that someone had to make all of this. God does not need to prove that, for example, marriage is good. For everyone can see how blessed, happy and rich a marriage is that lasts for decades and decades.
Wisdom doesn’t need to lie because she already has proof that what she says is true. And the same is true with our Triune God. He doesn’t need to prove himself because the proof is all around us. to see. But Wisdom doesn’t just prove her wisdom, she also provides her wisdom. God’s word tells us: “3 She has sent out her maids, and she calls from the highest point of the city. 4 “Let all who are simple come in here!” she says to those who lack judgment. 5 “Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed.” (Proverbs 9:3–5 NIV)
The world lies and laughs. But Wisdom—she proves her wisdom and then provides it. And look at that in these words. She sends out her maid-girls. And they invite people from all around to come and eat; come and drink. Feast with wisdom! She doesn’t give with one hand and then take away with the other. She doesn’t invite and then lie. She proves that she has wisdom and then she provides it. And that leads us to one last verse and one last question: What is this wisdom? In verse 6 we read: “Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.” (Proverbs 9:6 NIV)
If we ask the question, “what is real and true wisdom,” look at the answer. There actually two of them. First, wisdom is living. Wisdom is living here and hereafter. Wisdom is living the good life here and the glorious life forever with Jesus in heaven. And the only way that we have this sort of life is through forgiveness. We confess that the world lies and then laughs and then we have listened. And we have listened not just once or twice, but many times. We need a Savior from that sin, don’t we? So, out of true, perfect, wise love for us, what did Jesus do? Jesus was perfectly true always in our place. For all the times we listened to the sinful world’s lies, Jesus never did. And was perfectly truthful in our place. And not only this but he was condemned as the biggest liar on the cross in our place. The lies and shame that we deserved to be punished for Jesus was punished for on the cross. That fact promises to us that we will live forever with him in heaven. But that fact gives us much more. It gives us life right here and now. It gives us the lasting joy of knowing that we are forgiven now and at peace with him.
So wisdom is living. But wisdom is also understanding. One of the frustrations I have is realizing how simple and stupid I am. And, no doubt, you share this frustration with me. But look at wisdom’s invitation to us. Not only will we live, we also will have understanding. And understanding is both knowing what what is right and true and good and then doing it. Through this gift of faith God has given to us this new person in us. And this new person in us, born of water and word, is wise. And it’s so wonderful to see that wisdom in action. Every time you see a Christian child say, “No, I’m not going to do that because God tells me not to do that”, there you see that wisdom. Every time you see an elderly Christian willingly let go of their earthly possessions because they are looking forward to so much better in heaven, there you see that wisdom.
And that leaves us with one small detail to speak of this morning: the invitation. Wisdom invites us to feast with her. She invites you to drink her wine and eat her seasoned lamb and beef. And you know what that looks like. Read and grow in God’s word so that we can see what that true wisdom is. And when there are times that you listen to the lies, repent of them knowing that there is forgiveness in Christ for that lie too. And finally, thank your Lord above for the times he has given you wisdom not just to know, but also to carry out what was good, right and holy. Amen.