"Who is wise and understanding among you?
Let them show it by their good life, by deeds
done in the humility that comes from wisdom."
- James 3:13
The Wise Control Their Strength and Use Their Energy for Good
James asks, “Who is wise…among you?” The word “wise” is a Jewish technical term for a teacher,
a scribe or a rabbi.
James seems to be targeting the “teachers” in the Christian community since he has just said early at the beginning of this chapter, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” (James 3:1)
The “wise” or the “teachers” among you should show that they actually have “understanding” of what they are teaching by showing it with their:
“humility that comes from wisdom”
The word “humility” is prauteti and is often translated “meekness” or “gentleness.” But, neither “meekness” nor “gentleness” is the result of weakness or timidity. The word prauteti is described as “an active attitude of deliberate acceptance” and uis used to describe a horse that has been broken and trained. This “humility that comes from wisdom is actually power under control as in Galatians 5:22-23 and Jesus uses the same word to describe himself (Matthew 11:29). Those believers who can practice this meekness are promised to be blessed in Matthew 5:5.
Those who are wise and understand the truth of the Word of God should have the ability to use their wisdom to control their strength and use their energy for good deeds and a good life.
""The divorce between church and state ought to be absolute. It ought to be absolute. It ought to be so absolute that no church property anywhere, in any state, or in any nation, should be exempt from taxation, for if you exempt the church property of any church organization, to that extent you impose tax upon the whole community." - President James Garfield in an address to Congress
In 150 AD Justin Martyr wrote his greatest work entitled "Apology" which was an argument and explanation for the Christian faith. The book was written to Emperor Antoninus Pius who had supported the persecution and eradication of Christians from the Roman Empire. Justin main point was to invite the Emperor to join with the Christians in exposing the fallacy of the pagan religious systems.
Pala (Hb) - Wondrous Works (Eng) - pala is the Hebrew word that means "wondrous works"
or "marvelous deeds." The concept of the word is to describe something tht is "beyond one's
power to understand," or "to difficult to understand." There are some things we are told to
remember concerning God and his word, but there are other things we are to meditate
on and continue to marvel at and be amazed.
When God challenged Job's critical words and his understanding,
Job admitted he spoke of pala and should have kept his mouth shut:
Then Job replied to the Lord:
"I know that you can do all things;
no plan of yours can be thwarted.
‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
things too wonderful (pala) for me to know.
‘Listen now, and I will speak;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.’
ears had heard of you
but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself
and repent in dust and ashes.”
- Job 42:1-6
The street that ran along the Western Wall in the days of the New Testament can be seen today. The pavement stones and the curb are clearly visible. There is also a gutter that was built under the street that is accessible. When the Romans destroyed the Temple on the Temple Mount above the street the large stones were pushed over the edge and crushed the pavement as they piled up in 70 AD. This street and the debris of Jesus fulfilled prophecy can still be seen today. Jesus had said, "Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” (Matt.24:1-2)
See image of crushed pavement here.
See road with rubble, curb and shops here and here.
See gutter under street here.
See more detail here.
See video under street here:
Do I recognize the things that God has clearly revealed to me and expects me to understand and manage? And, in contrast, do I recognize the things that are beyond my understanding and will never be revealed to me or understood by me on this side of eternity?
I will remember and do the things God has revealed to me in scripture, but I will identify those things that are too wonderful to be known and simply meditate with wonder and awe
"Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free." - Proverbs 11:21