“The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.” (Matthew 12:42)
The Pharisees were criticizing, castigating, and judging Jesus. And Jesus responded by saying, “Look, a greater than Solomon is here.” Now, what caused Jesus to say that?
Dr. Robert G. Lee said those Pharisees must have wondered at Jesus’ bold statement. After all, Jesus was a carpenter’s son. Solomon was born in a palace; Jesus was born in a stable. Solomon was born in Jerusalem, and Jesus was born in little Bethlehem. Solomon had many servants to wait upon him hand and foot. Jesus had none. Solomon wore his kingly robes, but Jesus wore His peasant’s garb. Solomon drank from vessels of gold. Jesus had to get a drink from a Samaritan harlot. Solomon was rich beyond compare while Jesus was a pauper. Solomon had great armies, but Jesus only had a few stragglers following Him. Solomon lived in mansions; Jesus was homeless and sometimes didn’t have a place to lay His head. Solomon had thousands of horses and chariots and rode in splendor. Jesus walked. How could Jesus be greater than Solomon?
I want to tell you some ways that Jesus is greater than Solomon.
Now, you talk about a wise man — Solomon wrote the book of Proverbs. He knew 3,000 proverbs and had memorized 1,500 songs. What a mind he had!
Solomon knew all about the created universe. But Jesus had greater wisdom. You see, Jesus made all of the things that Solomon knew about.
We read in the Bible where Solomon studied ichthyology. He knew all about fish, but Jesus knew more. Jesus put enough fish in two empty nets to sink two boats.
Solomon knew all about the cycles of the wind, but Jesus knew how to rebuke the wind and cause the Sea of Galilee to be still at His command.
Solomon knew all about navigation. He sent ships out all over the earth to bring back riches. But Jesus could walk on water.
Not only did Solomon have great wisdom, but he also did mighty things. Solomon built a palace for himself. It took thirteen years to complete, and it defied description. But Jesus is building a greater house. He said in John 14:2, “In My Father's house are many mansions … I go to prepare a place for you.”
Solomon invited people in for great feasts. But Jesus could take five loaves of bread and two fishes and feed 5,000. He could turn plain water into sparkling wine.
Solomon built a temple beyond compare. It was the most glorious, magnificent building that has ever been built. But Jesus has built a greater temple. You and I are His temple. First Corinthians 6:19 says, “…know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you …?”
Solomon built many things and employed many workers. And he was a great man to work for. Can you imagine serving in his court in all the lavish wealth? Solomon’s workers were happy, but Jesus gives me joy unspeakable and full of glory.
King Solomon was incredibly wealthy. King Tut, Bill Gates, and Donald Trump will have to stand aside when it comes to wealth. Tons of gold, along with ivory and spices, were poured into Solomon’s coffers. But Jesus’ wealth is greater. The cattle on a thousand hills belong to Jesus, and all of the diamonds and the rubies in those hills. Every star in the sky belongs to Him.
Finally, Jesus is greater in worship. Solomon was there to lead the people in worship. That’s why he built the temple, and God gave him a throne. But there’s another throne, and Jesus sits upon it. Friend, Solomon no longer sits upon his throne, but Jesus sits on His! And He will never, ever be dispossessed.
Like other great kings, Solomon has come and gone. All that he had is gone. But Jesus is here. He will supply you with His wisdom. He will give you water so you will never thirst again. He’s preparing a place for you in heaven. And Jesus will give you joy day by day. And that’s why we worship the One, the Lord Jesus, Who is greater than Solomon. He’s the everlasting King and our great Savior.