Subtitle: The transcendence of both Wisdom & Peace in the Life of Jesus
Text: James 3:17-18 — 17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. [NIV84]
The Big Idea: This heavenly wisdom is so other worldly it is truly hard for us to get a handle on it.
My Thoughts on James 3:17-18:
While the “wisdom from below” brings chaos and discord (accompanied by a lot of brash noise), the “wisdom from above” brings a pure, undefiled peace that yields righteousness. James tells us that the “wisdom from below” yields strife and dissension—all that is contrary to peace (see James 3:13-16). But the heavenly wisdom that is described is first of all pure, having no ulterior motives fueled by selfish ambition and bitter envy. And then it is peace-loving. This is not peace at any cost, but a peace that is at the cost of the cross. It is this cost that makes this peace so other worldly. Can we really grasp this? I know I marvel at the profundity of this wisdom. I often wonder if I can even get a handle on it. Oh, I may taste it, even sip it, but do I fully appreciate this heavenly wisdom’s peace?
Lifestyle worshipers, you remember that our Lord Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives…” (John 14:27a). This is the peace He secured for us on the cross: A Peace with God (Romans 5:1-2). This is the Peace that Jesus breathed on His disciples, a peace offering forgiveness (John 20:21-23). This is the Peace that He Himself is (Eph. 2:14).
And this is the peace that surpasses all understand (Phil. 4:7). James sees the connection between Heavenly Wisdom and this transcendent peace. Would you agree that truly wise people are people who are truly at peace? And with this peace comes forgiveness and righteousness and mercy?
To me, the only way for me to even get a taste of this heavenly wisdom that is marked by peace is to continually yield to the Lord Jesus Christ’s Life in mine. And as I grow in His Life, I will grow in the wisdom that yields a peace that is truly other worldly. Or do you think that the heavenly wisdom that brings this transcendent peace is too beyond us? How do you see appropriating the heavenly traits of this heavenly wisdom noted in James 3:17 above? Your thoughts?
Scriptures to Renew Your Thoughts
Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.
— Proverbs 29:11 (NIV84)
But I tell you who hear Me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
— Luke 6:27-28 (NIV84)
Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.
— John 7:38 (NIV84)
An Empowering Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, as You become my heavenly Wisdom, transform my mind to mirror these heavenly traits and fill my soul with Your surpassing Peace. You are my Prince of Peace! Bless Your Holy Name. Amen.