November 24, 2021 - The Gift of Wisdom - A Reflection on Luke 21:12-19

Jesus said: “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. And so you will bear testimony to me. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. Everyone will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. Stand firm, and you will win life.”

Paul writes about nine wonderful spiritual gifts (or charismata) bestowed on Christians to strengthen the church in his letter to the Corinthians. We can group them in three categories: The Gifts of Discernment (or mind gifts), which comprise Knowledge, Wisdom, and Discernment of Spirits; the Gifts of Power (or action gifts), which comprise Faith, Miracles, and Healing; and the Gifts of Proclamation (or gifts of the tongue), which comprise Prophecy, Tongues, and the Interpretation of Tongues. 

The Gift of Wisdom is the gift Christ is talking about in today's passage. The Gift of Wisdom—or Word of Wisdom—is a divine revelation of God's mind, will, purpose, plan, or counsel that directs a person to make the correct response, decision, or judgment in a particular situation. This is imparted by the Holy Spirit at a specific time, for a particular need or situation. 

We see Jesus using this gift several times in Scripture, notably when the scribes and Pharisees would try to trap him with their questions. To give you one example, they went to him one day, and after buttering him up, telling him what a man of integrity he was, they asked him. "Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?" 

Jesus, of course, knew what they were trying to do. He said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?" "Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's" (Matthew 22:15-21). 

In the eighteen odd years that I have been in ministry, there have been several times when this gift has saved me from embarrassment, at the very least. People ask questions, sometimes in public forums, and I found myself answering with words inspired from above. It's a great gift to have, and all you need to do is ask God for it. As James says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you" (James 1:5). 

Something to ask God for today.