Saturday 06 February 2021

Bible Book:

'Nevertheless, wisdom is vindicated by all her children.' (v. 35)

Luke 7:31-35 Saturday 6 February 2021

Psalm 73:15-28


This Bible passage comes at the end of a fierce debate between John’s and Jesus’ followers about their respective identities, ministries and messages and includes a wider group of those who were not convinced by either of them.

Some people at the time were attracted to the austere teaching of baptism of John in the wilderness (at this point he is now imprisoned by King Herod) and also to the compassionate healing ministry of Jesus, which is transforming the lives of many individuals. What is the link between John and Jesus? They were not sure. They were processing their experience of the possibly great prophet John, and the possibly Messiah-like figure of Christ. What was everyone expecting? Well, they were uncertain.

In this passage Jesus underlines the confusion. He creates in the listener’s mind’s eye the image of children playing in the marketplace. They are calling out to one other, and arguing about which game to play. It seems that Jesus’ generation are like children and they are rejecting both Jesus and John for opposite reasons. The kingdom which Jesus is initiating has a keynote of joy in its healing, exorcism and raising of the dead, but people are not recognising it: "We played the flute….and you did not dance." (Luke 7:32)

On the other hand, John has preached a message of drastic repentance, which has equally been rejected by some people: "We wailed, and you did not weep."(Luke 7:32)

People point to the ecstatic behaviour of John and say he is possessed by a demon and they point to Jesus sharing hospitality with sinners and say he is a glutton and drunkard. In Deuteronomy 21:18-21 when parents have a son who is a ‘glutton and a drunkard’ he is to be brought to the elders who will then pronounce a death sentence on him. (This is in fact to happen to Jesus.)

But Jesus ends by associating himself with 'wisdom incarnate'(evoking Proverbs 1-9). The deep wisdom and purposes of God, rather than human wisdom, will in the end prevail and show themselves for what they are.

To Ponder:

  • Why do you think so many people rejected both John and Jesus?
  • In your experience of faith how important is joy? And how important is drastic repentance? Is there any tension there?
  • Can you think of a time when wisdom was vindicated in your experience and how long did it take?
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