Solomon, son of David, was chosen by David to succeed him as king. Solomon became king and was blessed greatly by the Lord.
So the fame of Solomon extended beyond the borders of Israel, resulting one day in a visit by a dignitary from a foreign land.
The wisdom of Solomon and his prosperity impressed the queen, and she attributed such things to the blessings of God. This account of Solomon and the queen of Sheba is the context for a rebuke that Jesus gave to the scribes and Pharisees.
It was quite the claim for Jesus to call Himself greater than Solomon, at that particular time to that particular audience. The Pharisees thought Jesus was a false prophet and a blasphemer, not a king and not the Son of David. But Jesus performed great miracles and demonstrated tremendous wisdom; for like Solomon, Jesus was able to respond to any question or argument brought His way.
So in wisdom and wonders, Jesus should have been considered equal to Solomon, if not greater, by the scribes and Pharisees. But their hearts were hardened and they could not see.
To us now, with the Scriptures and the benefit of hindsight, we should be able to clearly see how Christ exceeds Solomon’s glory. But, there is one aspect to focus on, more than Christ’s wisdom and more than Christ’s wonders. When comparing the humanity of Jesus to the humanity of Solomon, the thing that truly makes Him greater is His fidelity to the God of Israel. Solomon became corrupt; his wisdom and power led to hubris which led to him turning from God and turning to false gods and foreign women. But we cannot say such things about Jesus. All the miracles, all the wisdom, all the power, and He remained undefiled. He never sinned, He never denied God, He never bowed to Satan. He did not do as Solomon did, and therefore He was, and is, greater.
The sinless Christ is a very important doctrine. For when Jesus was put to death by the Jews for the sin of blasphemy, He was vindicated by God in that He was raised from the dead. For if the wages of sin is death, how could He remain dead who never sinned? And if He truly blasphemed the Holy One of Israel, then how could God let Jesus be resurrected? And if Jesus had sinned, like Solomon sinned, what good is it to say His righteousness is imparted to us?
But He who never sinned and raised Himself from the dead declares that He is greater than Solomon. Who could possibly argue with His logic?