Where is Jesus in Proverbs?


by Rick Duncan, Founding Pastor

As we teach through Proverbs in our current CVC series, Wisdom for Life, one question that might be raised is this: “Where is Jesus?” Proverbs is full of great advice. But if we aren’t careful, we can unintentionally miss Christ as we learn and apply wisdom from Proverbs.

And no leader at CVC wants to do that!

In David Murray’s book, Jesus on Every Page, Murray devotes a whole chapter to how to see Jesus in the book of Proverbs.

“Just as the holy light of Jesus shines through the Ten Commandments, helping us to discover our sins of life and heart, so the holy light of Jesus shines through the specific proverbs. If the Ten Commandments are like ten blinding spotlights, the proverbs are like hundreds of burning lasers, targeting our sins more specifically and painfully. And like the spotlights, the point of the lasers is not to turn us into a bunch of legalistic do-gooders. It is to show us that we are no-gooders, that there is only one Good, and that is God.

“Like the Law, Proverbs not only demonstrates the need for Jesus’ death but also explains the nature of it. Proverbs vividly describes the typical kind of human scheming and plotting that characterized Jesus’ crucifiers. The proverbs deepen our understanding of the Law’s curse that was heaped upon Jesus, and they demonstrate the divine principle of penal justice that He would experience in His body and soul” (pp. 178-179).

But we need not live under the condemnation of our failure to measure up to God’s perfect standard of wisdom. Murray also shows us that the book of Proverbs points us to Christ as the One who fulfilled all Old Testament wisdom, including the wisdom found in Proverbs:

“The Old Testament leaves us looking and longing for the Wise One who would fulfill the Law and Proverbs. No surprise then that Jesus Christ exactly fit that profile. Time and again, Jesus is not only portrayed as the wise man but also identified with the wisdom of God. Truly, a greater than Solomon is here….

“As He read Proverbs, Jesus must have been deeply influenced by the expectation of the Wise One. He was indeed the Wise Son who pleased His Father in every area of life. He was the Wise Teacher whose unparalleled words of wisdom have stood the test of time. He was the Wise Host who invited weary, hungry, and thirsty outcasts to His gospel banquet and who also promised us a never-ending feast above. He is the Wise Creator, who demonstrated His goodwill toward and delight in humanity throughout His whole earthly life. And He was – and is – the Wise Bridegroom looking for an undeserving wife….

“The greater Solomon is here – greater in holiness, greater in glory, greater in power, and far greater in wisdom. Let us worship His wisdom, let us hear His wise teaching, let us be made wise unto salvation, and let us live wisely to His glory and honor“ (pp. 184-186).

Jesus Himself is the wise Man (Luke 2:40 & 52), the One “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col 2:3). Jesus is “our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Cor 1:30).

If we are in Christ, we won’t be judged by whether or not we perfectly lived out the wisdom of Proverbs. We will stand one day before the Father, clothed in Christ’s righteousness, in His wisdom.

This is why we can dig deeply into Proverbs and appreciate the Christ-centered nature of it.

Jesus has become our Pattern who lived out the wisdom of Proverbs. He has become our Pardon for our failure to live out the wisdom of Proverbs. And He has become our Power so we can live out the wisdom of Proverbs.

Look at this way, Proverbs is a book that actually connects us more deeply to Christ.