How Jesus Became Smart

The eye-rolling preteen. I’ve been her. 

It’s predictable that somewhere between 9-16 a child will lose sight of the intelligence of their parents. Later, depending on the wisdom of said child, their parents become their go-to when buying first car, shopping for health insurance or first house. Wa-la, parents became instant experts.

Painfully, I’ve noticed similar progression in my relationship to Jesus. Spiritually speaking I have been an eye-rolling preteen. Jesus is smart. He knows me better than I know myself. He knows life on this planet better than anyone past, present or future. Yet, honestly I was far too slow to reach that conclusion. Through the trial and error of arrogantly pursuing my own intelligence or perspectives I’ve come to see Jesus is infinitely more informed than I am. 

Or anyone else.

On any subject.

Love. Sex. Relationships. Leadership. Marriage. Ministry.

Recently I encountered this quote from Dallas Williard’s The Divine Conspiracy:

“…can we seriously imagine that Jesus could be Lord if he were not smart? If he were divine, would he be dumb? Or uninformed? Once you stop to think about it, how could he be what we take him to be in all other respects and not be the best-informed and most intelligent person of all, the smartest person who ever lived?” 

This caused me to pull The Divine Conspiracy off the shelf:

“At the literally mundane level Jesus knew how to transform the molecular structure of water to make it wine, that knowledge also allowed him to take a few pieces of bread and some little fish and feed thousands of people…..” 


“Saying Jesus is Lord can mean little in practice for anyone who has to hesitate in saying Jesus is smart…he is not just nice, he is brilliant, he is the smartest man who has ever lived. He is now supervising the entire course of human history while simultaneously preparing the rest of the universe for our future role in it. He always has the best information on everything and certainly on the things that matter most in the human life.” 

I love to resource smart people. When making a decision my first response is to find an expert. There is no greater expert than Jesus.

This is a short list, a very short list of profound truths I have often read often. Yet the years have given me ringside seat to see these realities play out in the human experience– either in mine or others.
Turns out, Jesus knows stuff.  

1-The man who covers his sin will not prosper.
2-The love of money is the root of many many evils.
3-Bitterness settles in after un-forgiveness takes root.
4-Sexual sin does damage to a soul.
5-There is a peace that passes understanding.

Colossians 2:2b-3: “….both the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” 

“ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”? 

Who can be more of an expert than that?  

  • When Jesus speaks on marriage even if it seems arcane and ancient I’d better listen. He KNOWS something I don’t know. 
  • When the Word of God gives us boundaries for our sexuality it is an INFORMED perspective not unenlightened one. 
  • When Proverbs says, “the way of the transgressor is hard” I better note that sin’s appeal is short-lived and oh so deceptive.

Jesus’ words are not merely nice, moral nor naïve. He speaks on a level of truth and understanding we don’t even comprehend.

Oh, yes and that church you lead and serve? He is the ultimate leader, minister and consummate people person. Perfectly balanced. John 1:14, “….full of grace and truth”-who can achieve that? “Seeking counsel” better start with Him in our ministry context. NO MATTER what the latest book says. HIS ways are higher because they are right and get this–eternally true. Nothing is a trend with God. 

(That 33-year-old-trend-setting-ministry-leader-author? Probably none of the above.)

Like the young adult who suddenly realized their parents weren’t as uninformed as they thought— maybe you need the same transition with Jesus. When we see Him as smart or brilliant even, He will become our most trustworthy source of information on life, death and everything in between.

Published January 8, 2014