Dr. Craig Bartholomew wrote, “Wisdom is deeply experiential.” In other words, we can’t just have head knowledge and call it “wisdom,” but we have to have an experience in which we have learned a lesson in order for it to truly be called wisdom.
In the three wisdom books of the Bible—Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes—the wisdom that is shared is hard-won by people who personally experienced what they shared with us. Even if we consider the wisdom in the poetic books of Psalms and the Song of Solomon, we are still reading first-person, firsthand experiences. True wisdom can never be dispensed by someone who hasn’t “been there, done that” and learned a valuable lesson from that experience.
In Job, we meet three of his friends who claim to have wisdom but don’t meet the criteria of personal experience. This pseudo-wisdom always comes in the form of, “I’ve heard that…,” or “It’s obvious from my observations…,” or “Everyone knows that….”
That means that satan’s tactics fall into this pseudo-wisdom category too: he has no personal, first-hand experience of human situations that result in hard-won wisdom! The best he can offer is secondhand observations.
Jesus, on the other hand, fully entered into the human experience. Jesus IS Wisdom. As a human He had first-hand experiences, and as God He doesn’t just see fragments of lessons, but He sees the whole, eternal picture into which all lessons fit.
This is why Solomon wrote, “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.” This holy respect and willingness to heed the words of Wisdom Himself is the starting point and the conclusion of wisdom. This is also why the writer of Hebrews wrote that Jesus knows every situation that we are going through. He knows how to help us because He has personal, first-hand, experiential wisdom.
satan’s temptations are only suppositions. He can never say, “I know from personal experience.” Look at his temptations of Adam and Eve, Job, Jesus, and the apostle Paul:
- Did God really say?
- Does this suffering even make sense?
- Doesn’t the Scripture tell us…?
- I don’t think you deserve the thorn in the flesh.
Jesus was tempted in every human way possible. He learned wisdom by this personal experience. Jesus alone is qualified to be the only source of Wisdom that you and I need to successfully handle trials and temptations.
Because He Himself in His humanity has suffered in being tempted, tested and tried, Jesus is able immediately to run to the cry of—to assist and relieve—those who are being tempted and tested and tried…. (Hebrews 2:18 AMP)