As someone who has not been raised in the Catholic tradition I, like many, haven’t read much in the Apocrypha. The Apocrypha is a number of books Protestants left out of the canon of scripture while they still remain to this day in the Catholic Bible.
While the subject of this isn’t about the Apocrypha it does contain a quote or two from the Apocryphal book the Wisdom of Solomon. It is chapter 7:25-26 and reads as follows. “For she is the breath of the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty: therefore can no defiled thing fall into her. For she is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness.”
Obviously we are talking about Wisdom. Throughout the Old Testament Wisdom is described as a woman. Proverbs 3:18- “She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.” Proverbs 8:2 “she stands,” 8:3″ she cries at the gates” and in 9:1 “Wisdom has built her house,” 9:2 “she has furnished her table,” 9:3 “she has sent forth her maidens: she cries upon the highest place of the city.” I’m sure you get the point.
If we move on into the New Testament the very word in the Greek for which we get our word wisdom is “Sophia.” So we have this female connotation found almost every time we find the Bible speaking about wisdom. Yet we also know that in 1 Corinthians Paul stated Jesus has become to us the wisdom of God.
So we have a mystery don’t we?
Let’s take a minute to think about 7:26 of the Wisdom of Solomon. Here we have wisdom described as the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness. In the New Testament we find out Jesus is the light and he is from everlasting to everlasting. We also discover Jesus is the image of the invisible God.
What about this “unspotted mirror” part? What do you think that might mean? Well it seems as though there are numerous references to mirrors in the New Testament. Let us see if we can make some sense of this. First let us look at the book of James.
James 1:23-25 tells us the Law is like a mirror. He says “if we are a hearer only we are like a man who looks at his face in a mirror but then goes away and forgets what manner of man he was. But whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” So we know according to this that the law of God is a mirror and it is the law of liberty.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:12 “for now we see through a glass (the mirror of his wisdom) darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part, but then shall I know even as I am known.” In other words now in this present life, while the mirror is unspotted, our vision is still somewhat unclear. One day he promises we will in fact be able to look into this mirror and it will be very clear.
John wrote in 1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
Once again Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass (the mirror of his wisdom) the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
What does this have to do with that Sophia woman you may ask? Well it seems as though God looked into the mirror of his wisdom and saw his son Jesus. In the same way we are to look into this wisdom mirror to see Jesus and in so doing we are changed from glory to glory into his image. What that image looks like in each of us is a little different.
God created great diversity in everything. Remember the scripture tells us “where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.” As we gaze intently at Jesus we will be transformed into a free son of God, one that is free to be all that God created us to be. It remains to be seen, but we like all of creation are anxiously awaiting the sons of God to be revealed.
Written by Louie