September 24, 2023
This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, Our Great Savior.
Jesus once said to the Pharisees,
The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.
The one “greater than Solomon” was Jesus Christ Himself. But there He was, in their midst—the Son of God—and they criticized and interrogated Him.
So Jesus tells them this story about the glorious queen who made the dangerous and difficult journey from the ends of the earth to see Solomon. “And she will condemn you,” Jesus said, “because one who is greater than Solomon is here.”
Even more than for his wealth, Solomon was noted for his wisdom. God had given King Solomon wisdom, as a gift. (Read 1 Kings 3.)
Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions….So Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing so difficult for the king that he could not explain it to her.
Solomon wrote the Book of Proverbs. As you read, you see that he knew biology, philosophy, theology, etc.
But King Jesus is greater than King Solomon.
Solomon knew about the trees, but Jesus made every one of those trees. “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3). Solomon knew about navigation, but Jesus walked on water. Solomon knew about the circulation of the winds, but Jesus stilled a storm on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was wiser than Solomon in all of these things.
And Jesus “became for us wisdom from God”—wisdom so great that a little child can know the heart and mind of God. (Read Matthew 11:25.)
It took Solomon thirteen years to build his palace, and he had everything at his fingertips that he needed. It was an incredible, opulent house.
But Jesus is building a greater house. “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).
Think of the table that Solomon set. He put on a feast for the Queen of Sheba—"And when the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his servants, the service of his waiters and their apparel, his cupbearers, and his entryway by which he went up to the house of the LORD, there was no more spirit in her” (1 Kings 10:4-5).
But Jesus sets a better table. Jesus could feed 5,000 with a little boy’s lunch. (Read Matthew 14:13-21.) And the greater thing is this: Jesus feeds us with food that satisfies.
If you ate what Solomon set down, you would be hungry again. Jesus will feed you with bread from Heaven, and you will never hunger or thirst again. (Read Matthew 26:26-28, John 4:10.)
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
Solomon built a temple—perhaps the most magnificent building in the history of the world. (Read 1 Kings 5-6.) His father, David, had been storing up gold, silver, brass and cedar to build it. God Himself was the architect. Solomon’s temple sat on Mount Zion, facing east, so the sun would come up over the Mount and shine on the temple, overlaid with ivory and gold.
But Jesus has built a greater temple. “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19)
In the Old Testament, God had a temple for His people. In the New Testament, He has a people for His temple. He lives in us. We are one mighty temple of God, made up of people from every kindred, tribe, and nation of all of the Earth.
Solomon’s temple is gone. But the temple that Jesus Christ has built—and is building—will endure forever. “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18b).
The Queen of Sheba said to Solomon, “It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. However I did not believe the words until I came and saw with my own eyes; and indeed the half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity exceed the fame of which I heard. Happy are your men and happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you and hear your wisdom!” (1 Kings 10:6b-8)
Jesus is greater than Solomon in this, too. Jesus has an army of people around this world who not only would wait upon Him, but would die for Him.
Solomon gave happiness to his servants. Jesus gives “joy inexpressible and full of glory.” (See 1 Peter 1:8.) Jesus is so lavishly good to His servants!
The happiness that Solomon caused is all gone, but Jesus gives joy that remains.
“The weight of gold that came to Solomon yearly was six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold” (1 Kings 10:14). That is tons of gold, coming to Solomon yearly.
Jesus’ wealth is even greater than Solomon’s.
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
Solomon was King of Jerusalem; Jesus is King of the Universe.
And the beautiful thing is that we are “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Romans 8:17b).
The Queen of Sheba said to Solomon, “Blessed be the LORD your God, who delighted in you, setting you on the throne of Israel!” (1 Kings 10:9a). What is the job of the man upon the throne? To lead the people to worship. At the dedication of the temple, “King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand bulls and one hundred and twenty thousand sheep” (2 Chronicles 7:5a).
But Jesus is greater in the worship that He provides—“For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). Jesus is a Lamb without spot or blemish, and with His own blood upon that cross He provided a greater way of worship.
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!
Only Jesus is worthy of such honor.
Jesus is the only hope of this sin-cursed, judgment-deserving, Hell-bound, confused world.
Science can tell you how far the sun is from the Earth, but it cannot tell you how to have sin removed from your heart. Philosophy cannot save you. Culture can only make the world a better place from which to go to Hell.
The only hope for the world, the only source of abundant life, is Jesus.
Matthew 11:25, 12:42, 14:13-21, 16:18, 26:26-28; 1 Kings 5-6, 10:1-9,14; John 1:3, 4:10, 14:2; Revelation 3:20, 5:12; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Peter 1:8; Colossians 1:16-17; Romans 8:17; 2 Chronicles 7:5; Hebrews 10:4
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you—the sure mercies of David.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent”….But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.