“for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,…” – 1 Corinthians 12:8
In our study in John 8:1-12, we see the woman caught in adultery brought before Jesus with the Pharisees attempting to trap Jesus by giving Him a question that (in their minds and in human minds) only had two answers, either of which would hurt Him. If He said “stone her”, he violated Roman law and if He said “let her go”, He would violate the law of Moses. The answer He gave solved both the problem of their unrighteous behavior as well as dealing with the woman caught in adultery. Here we saw Jesus operate in the word of wisdom. You see it other times in His life such as when asked to pay taxes to Caesar or not. We often glance over these passages just thinking, “well that’s Jesus – He’s God so of course He would know how to answer!”, yet forgetting that He relied on the Spirit working in power in His life (Philippians 2, Luke 3:22).
I mentioned how Solomon also operated in this gift (1 Kings 3:16-28) in dealing with the dispute over who the live baby should belong to and his answer to it was the working of wisdom. Other places we see this gift operated in Scripture: Exodus 28:3, Exodus 31:3, Deuteromony 34:9, Acts 6:2-4, 8-10, Acts 15:19-22, Acts 23:6-7.
So what exactly is this gift? Is it the same as the word of knowledge? It is not the same as the word of knowledge as knowledge and wisdom are two different things. Knowledge is knowing something while wisdom is applying it. In simple sense, regular knowledge says, “it is going to be cold today” while wisdom is putting on a cold.
The gift of wisdom is the unique ability to speak forth the wisdom of God, as Jesus did when he said “He who is without sin cast the first stone” and “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s” or when Solomon said to cut the baby in half (knowing the real mother would not stand for such a thing). It works in such a natural way, people don’t realize it is a supernatural gift that is used at the time it is needed (in other words, it isn’t as if one just has a head of wisdom on their own ability). This wisdom is pure, peacable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy (James 3:17). And it is something God desires to give us (James 1:5)
When people say the gifts are no longer for today, somehow they miss that we still need wisdom (just like all the gifts are still needed) and still walk in wisdom. Don’t expect some crazy emotional response or feeling to surge through your body before you speak forth wisdom, it will be a very natural, supernatural gift.