It's Unwise to be "Wise"

by Sylvia Bambola November 11, 2013 16:11 PM

Jesus is a constant contradiction. His words and actions continually reveal that God’s ways are not our ways. In fact they are higher. Much higher (Isaiah 55:9). So here, in Luke 10: 21 (Amplified) Jesus once again throws us a curve. “Thank you Father, Lord of heaven and earth that You have concealed these things (relating to salvation) from the wise and understanding and learned, and revealed them to babes (the childish, unskilled, and untaught).” What exactly are we to make of this?

Well, first there are three different kinds of wisdom: 1) Godly wisdom 2) worldly wisdom and 3) demonic wisdom. The Bible tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10) so we can assume that Jesus wasn’t talking about those with Godly wisdom. James 3:15-17 tells us that there is a wisdom that “descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish . . . but the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, etc.” According to James, the earthly, devilish wisdom is characterized by bitterness, envy, and strife, and creates confusion and evil works, and is also hypocritical.

I can think of no better example of this than our early fathers establishing public schools in order to teach their children to read the Bible. And now, in most schools, a teacher can’t even mention the Bible and must teach the very flawed “theory of evolution” but is not allowed to discuss “creationism.” This is worldly wisdom and demonic wisdom combined that is not only hypocritical but creates confusion and strife.

1 Corinthians 8:1 tells us that, “knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.” That word “puffeth” is phusioo in Greek and means to inflate, make proud. Without the Lord, without His charity, His love to enlighten us, our knowledge can make us proud and conceited. And when we become conceited we think we know it all. We think we know more than God. We become too sophisticated to believe the simple gospel message. And that’s just what Jesus was talking about. So many of the learned men of His day, the Pharisees, thought they knew it all, too; actually thought they knew more than Jesus. Their conceit made them unable to accept Jesus’ message, and their envy made them want to kill Him. After all, Jesus was an irritant that contradicted their philosophy and life style.

Nothing changes. Those who are “puffed” up, who are impressed with their own knowledge and intellect, generally are not open to the gospel. The conceited do not have a teachable spirit, but lack humility and are looking to impress others. They know it all and want everyone else to know that they know it all. On the other hand, children and the simple are generally more open to instruction. Surely that’s why Jesus said if we want to enter the kingdom of God we must become like “little children.”

So does all this puffed-up, conceited wisdom get us anything at all? Yes. Romans 1:21-22 spells it out. “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imagination, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” So what it gets us is that we actually become fools in God’s eyes.

This is a cautionary tale for us all. It’s so easy to become indoctrinated with worldly wisdom and even demonic wisdom. Just look at our movies and TV programs. Things that would have shocked our mothers no longer shock us. We have grown up, we have become sophisticated and wise. But God says, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise. I will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?”

So, in reality, it’s unwise to become “wise” in our own eyes. Much better to become as little children and gain God’s kingdom.

Until next time,