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God’s Word for You

Luke 11:49a The Wisdom of God

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Tuesday, July 31, 2018

49 For this reason the Wisdom of God also said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles.

This passage is mostly ignored by commentators but it will profit us to spend a little time in it. Some versions translate “God in his wisdom said” (NIV), but the Greek text is simply “the Wisdom of God said,” using the Wisdom of God as a proper name. This title for Jesus really only occurs here, and perhaps in 1 Corinthians 1:24, where Christ crucified is “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

Jesus did not use this as a title for himself, and it isn’t the name of some lost book, as if Jesus had written a pamphlet called “The Wisdom of God.” Luke uses this title for Jesus as a reminder that Jesus truly is God, the author of our faith, the author of Scripture, and the author of our salvation.

This wise God of ours sent his prophets and apostles to mankind. Why? To preach the gospel. “Christ crucified” is the shortest summary of our faith, a creed all in itself, and the cornerstone of everything we believe; everything the prophets foresaw and everything the apostles proclaimed. With these words, Jesus summarizes the whole authorship of the Bible in a prophetic way, as the Wisdom of God. The Old Testament was written by Moses and the Prophets, and the New Testament was written by the Apostles and Evangelists. And while we realize that during Jesus’ ministry not one of the books of the New Testament was yet written, we also must acknowledge that Jesus was certainly aware of what would be written, beginning with Paul’s letter to the Galatians and ending with John’s Revelation—almost fifty years apart.

God’s compassionate Wisdom sent us these preachers and authors of Scripture to point us to Christ crucified. Jesus Christ our Lord and God’s true Wisdom has released us from the supervision of the law (Galatians 3:25), called us to faith in him (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14), and assured us of our place with him forever in heaven (1 John 5:13).

For reference, the approximate chronology of the writing of the New Testament seems to be this:

48 AD – Galatians (Paul)
48-49 AD – James
50 AD (early) – Gospel of Matthew
51 AD – 1 Thessalonians (Paul, from Corinth)
51 or early 52 AD – 2 Thessalonians (Paul, from Corinth)
50’s AD – Gospel of Mark (based on Peter’s preaching?)
55 AD (Spring) – 1 Corinthians (Paul, from Ephesus)
55 AD (Fall) – 2 Corinthians (Paul, from Macedonia)
57 AD (Spring) – Romans (Paul)
59 AD – Gospel of Luke
60 AD – Acts (Luke, while Paul was in prison in Rome)
60 AD – Colossians (Paul, from Rome)
60 AD – Philemon (Paul, companion letter with Colossians)
60 AD – Ephesians (Paul, from Rome)
61 AD – Philippians (Paul, from Rome)
63-64 – 1 Peter (while Paul was on his trip to Spain?)
65-65 AD – Titus (Paul, from Corinth?)
65 AD – 1 Timothy (Paul, from Macedonia)
65-68 – 2 Peter
67 AD – 2 Timothy (Paul, imprisoned again in Rome)
68-80 – Jude (after 2 Peter?)
Before 70 AD – Hebrews (prior to the destruction of the temple)
90-95 AD – Gospel of John (on Patmos or in Ephesus)
91-95 AD – 1 John (after the Gospel of John)
91-95 AD – 2 John and 3 John (companion letters?)
95 AD – Revelation (from Patmos)

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.

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