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The Way of Jesus is the Way of Wisdom and Understanding spoken of in the Book of Proverbs

   When Jesus said he was "the way, the truth and the life" (John 
   14:6) he meant that the Way of Truth and Life consists in the 
   following of he teachings.  When he said he was the light of 
   the world (John 8:12) he meant that the Way of Light and Life 
   was in following his teachings.  When he said he was the 
   resurrection and the life (John 11:25) he was referring to the 
   following of his teachings.  In John 4:13-14 he said, "Whoever 
   drinks of this water will thirst again.  But whoever drinks of 
   the water that I shall give him will never thirst.  But the 
   water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of 
   water springing up into everlasting life."  He was again making 
   reference to the following of his teachings.  This way that 
   Jesus keeps referring to, the way of his teachings, is in 
   fact the very same way that is also referred to much in the 
   Old Testament books of Psalms and Proverbs.  The book of 
   Proverbs speaks of the way of Wisdom and Understanding.  The 
   way of Wisdom and Understanding spoken of in Proverbs is the 
   very same way Jesus was speaking of.  If we study Proverbs we 
   see that the way of Wisdom and Understanding is the way of Fear 
   of God, love of God, obedience to God, obedience in following his 
   commandments.  Psalms speaks continually of the same way.  The 
   central thrust of Psalms is love of God, obedience to him; 
   obedience in following his law, his precepts, his commandments 
   (see Psalms 119).  It is about this Way, this Way of 
   Righteousness and Goodness.  This is the narrow way Jesus 
   referred to when he said, "broad is the way that leads to 
   destruction and narrow is the way that leads to life and few 
   there are who find it." (Matt. 7:13-14).  This way of Wisdom, 
   Understanding ---  this way of fear of God, love of God, 
   obedience to God --- is represented in the Bible as the 
   "enlightened path", the path of Light, Life and Truth.  It is 
   the path that leads to heaven.  It is a path followed by few.  
   The masses follow the way of the world, the way of wickedness.  
   What is this Path of Righteousness, this path of Truth and 
   Light?  What is the system of outlooks, attitudes and values 
   that characterize it?  We can answer that by studying the 
   teachings of Jesus.  The emphasis of Jesus was on certain 
   central spiritual principles.  What are these principles?  Love 
   of God, truthfulness, honesty, meekness, kindness, forgiveness, 
   compassion, peaceableness, self-denial, purity, morality, 
   concern for neighbor, humility, goodness, virtue, service.  These 
   spiritual principles are found in the Old Testament.  
   Christians do not follow the large mass of rules, laws and 
   rites that God gave to the Jews on everything from diet to the 
   sowing of crops as found in the books of Leviticus and 
   Deuteronomy (i.e. Jewish law), but they are supposed to follow 
   the teachings of Jesus, which are these central principles.  
   And it is these central principles that you find emphasized in 
   the books of Psalms and Proverbs.  Jesus was often criticized 
   by the scribes and Pharisees for breaking Jewish laws and 
   rules.  For example, he was often criticized for healing on the 
   Sabbath.  They said it was working on the Sabbath, a violation 
   of Jewish law.  Jesus emphasized the central principles and the 
   spirit of the law as opposed to a lot of rules and regulations.

   What are God's central spiritual commandments to man as found 
   in the Old Testament?  Well, first, we are supposed to love 
   God.  Then we are supposed to love our fellow man.  God tells 
   us how we are to treat our fellow man.  We are supposed to 
   treat him justly and fairly.  We are supposed to treat him 
   well.  We are not to lie, steal, kill, covet or commit 
   adultery.  We are not supposed to wrong our neighbor. 

   Deu 10:12-20   And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God 
   require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all 
   His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all 
   your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the 
   commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you 
   today for your good?  Indeed heaven and the highest 
   heavens belong to the LORD your God, also the earth with all 
   that is in it.  For the LORD your God is God of gods and 
   Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no 
   partiality nor takes a bribe. He administers justice for 
   the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving 
   him food and clothing. Therefore love the stranger, for 
   you were strangers in the land of Egypt.  You shall fear 
   the LORD your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall 
   hold fast, and take oaths in His name. 

   Deut. 6:1-2,6-9   Now this is the commandment, and these are 
   the statutes and judgments which the LORD your God has 
   commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land 
   which you are crossing over to possess, that you may fear the 
   LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments 
   which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all 
   the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. You 
   shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your 
   soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I 
   command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them 
   diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you 
   sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, 
   and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your 
   hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You 
   shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your 

   Lev 19:2-4   You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am 
   holy. Every one of you shall revere his mother and his 
   father, and keep My Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God. Do 
   not turn to idols, nor make for yourselves molded gods: I am 
   the LORD your God. 

   Lev 19:11-18,35-36,26,28,31  You shall not steal, nor deal 
     falsely, nor lie to one another. 
   You shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane 
     the name of your God.  
   You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of 
     him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until 
   You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before 
     the blind, but shall fear your God: I am the LORD. 
   You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial 
     to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In 
     righteousness you shall judge your neighbor. 
   You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor 
     shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor. 
   You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely 
     rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. 
   You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the 
     children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as 
   You shall do no injustice in judgment, in measurement of 
     length, weight, or volume. You shall have honest scales, 
     honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin.
   You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor shall you 
     practice divination or soothsaying. 
   You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor 
     tattoo any marks on you. 
   Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek 
     after them, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God. 

   Lev 19:33-34   And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, 
   you shall not mistreat him. The stranger who dwells among 
   you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love 
   him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I 
   am the LORD your God. 

   Deut 15:6-7,11   If there is among you a poor man of your 
   brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the Lord 
   your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut 
   your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand 
   wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, 
   whatever he needs.  For the poor will never cease from the land; 
   therefore I command you, saying, "You shall open your hand wide 
   to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land."

   Lev 18:22-24  You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It 
   is an abomination. Nor shall you mate with any animal, to 
   defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an 
   animal to mate with it. It is perversion. Do not defile 
   yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the 
   nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. 

   Lev 20:10,13,15-16  The man who commits adultery with another 
   man's wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor's wife, 
   the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death. 
   If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them 
   have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to 
   death. Their blood shall be upon them. If a man mates with an 
   animal, he shall surely be put to death, and you shall kill the 
   animal. If a woman approaches any animal and mates with it, you 
   shall kill the woman and the animal. They shall surely be put 
   to death. Their blood is upon them. 

   We see in the above commandments certain general spiritual 
   principles: the importance of love of God, truthfulness, 
   integrity, moral rectitude, justice and fairness toward your 
   fellow man, mercy, compassion for the poor and needy. 

   In the book of Proverbs we read: 

   These six things the Lord hates,
    Yes, seven are an abomination to him:
   A proud look,
   A lying tongue,
   Hands that shed innocent blood, 
   A heart that devises wicked plans, 
   Feet that are swift in running to evil, 
   A false witness who speaks lies,
   And one who sows discord among brethren.

                                     Prov. 6:19-19

   In the book of Proverbs it is emphasized that this way of 
   Wisdom and Understanding must be sought and pursued.  We read: 

   Get wisdom! Get understanding! 
    Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. 
   Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; 
    Love her, and she will keep you. 
   Wisdom is the principal thing; 
    Therefore get wisdom. 
    And in all your getting, get understanding. 
   Exalt her, and she will promote you; 
    She will bring you honor, when you embrace her. 
   She will place on your head an ornament of grace; 
    A crown of glory she will deliver to you. 

                                            Prov. 4:5-9

   My son, if you receive my words, 
    And treasure my commands within you, 
   So that you incline your ear to wisdom, 
    And apply your heart to understanding; 
   Yes, if you cry out for discernment, 
    And lift up your voice for understanding, 
   If you seek her as silver, 
    And search for her as for hidden treasures; 
   Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, 
    And find the knowledge of God. 
   For the LORD gives wisdom; 
    From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; 
   He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; 
    He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; 
   He guards the paths of justice, 
    And preserves the way of His saints. 
   Then you will understand righteousness and justice, 
    Equity and every good path. 

   When wisdom enters your heart, 
    And knowledge is pleasant to your soul, 
   Discretion will preserve you; 
    Understanding will keep you, 
   To deliver you from the way of evil, 
    From the man who speaks perverse things, 
   From those who leave the paths of uprightness 
    To walk in the ways of darkness; 
   Who rejoice in doing evil, 
    And delight in the perversity of the wicked; 
   Whose ways are crooked,
     And who are devious in their paths; 

                               Prov. 2:1-15

   God's way must be sought and pursued with seriousness.  Jesus 
   said, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find;  
   knock and it will be opened to you."  Matt 7:7.  In James we 

   If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to 
   all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given him.  
   James 1:5.

   God's way is the way of Wisdom and Understanding.  His way is 
   about practice and obedience, not theory, dogma or ritual. Wisdom 
   and Understanding teach the fear of God and the importance of 
   living by his principles --- the principles taught by Jesus:  
   love of God, truthfulness, honesty, meekness, kindness, 
   forgiveness, compassion, peaceableness, self-denial, purity, 
   morality, concern for neighbor, humility, goodness, virtue, service.

   Dec 2008

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