“For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.” (Luke 7:33-35, ESV).
John the Baptist sent some of his disciples to Jesus to find out if He was the Messiah. When they asked if He was the Messiah, Jesus did not answer them explicitly. Rather, He sent them back to John with this message: “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me” (Luke 7:22-23, ESV).
But Jesus explicitly identified John as the one whom the prophet Malachi described as the messenger who would prepare the way when the day of the Lord comes. Although this explanation of John’s ministry satisfied many of the people in the crowd of people following Jesus who were also John’s disciples, the Pharisees and scribes rejected His testimony about John because they didn’t believe John the Baptist was sent by God.
Then Jesus points out that God’s purpose is accomplished in multiple ways: John’s abstemious method and Jesus’ intemperate style.
Jesus and John didn’t try to justify their own behavior. They didn’t behave a certain way because it’s the “right” way.
Instead, they each carried out the ministry to which God called them. With John it was declaring people’s sinfulness and need for repentance. With Jesus it was declaring God’s forgiveness and mercy and then sacrificing His life for us. Each rendered service to God in the way in which God called them and according to their own personalities and perspectives.
So, it’s not about which way is right and which is wrong–it’s about doing God’s will!
Think about it. Is the right way to serve God by living in the wilderness and “eating no bread and drinking no wine” like John the Baptist? Or, is the right way socializing and “eating and drinking” with people like Jesus did?
Our trouble is that we want it to be one or the other. This is right, that is wrong. In other words, we compartmentalize our faith–we’re either right of left, evangelical or liberal, Arminian or Calvinist, preterist or futurist.
And then we want to impose the compartment in which our faith resides on others. If they don’t believe the way we do then they must be wrong and we need to fix them!
Being wisdom’s children is not simply about knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is about seeing our purpose in life from God’s perspective. Each of us must find out what we should do and then do it according to the personality and perspective God has given us.
And, accept the perspective of others who are doing likewise…
When our lives are focused on justifying God rather than our own point of view, then we are the children of Wisdom.
O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. (Psalm 104:24, ESV)
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