“Wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

Today’s reading (Lk 7:31-35) gives us the conclusion of Jesus’ discourse to the people regarding John the Baptist.  Jesus tells them that John fasted and was a teetotaler and he was declared possessed.  Now Jesus comes eating and drinking and is called a glutton and drunkard.  But, Jesus concludes with the line above.  We might first recall Paul telling us that “the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom” (1 Cor 1:25).  For many, but particularly the Jewish religious leaders of the day, John was not expected.  His message did not appeal to them and his lifestyle reinforced their disdain for him.  Likewise, Jesus also was not, in their view, based on incorrect preconceived notions, who He claimed to be.  In the verse in 1 Cor immediately preceding the one just mentioned, Paul calls “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor 1:24).  So the people who encountered Jesus were looking at Wisdom Incarnate.  And John, always pointing toward “the one who is to come” (Lk 7:20), didn’t tell the people what they wanted to hear but what they needed to hear — another mark of authentic wisdom.  It would soon become evident to the people based on the explosion of the “Jesus movement” that the wisdom of God is truly vindicated by the number of children (i.e., adherents) who take the message of Jesus to heart, spread it boldly and confidently, and sometimes die for it.  But “those who despise wisdom and instruction are doomed” (Wis 3:11).

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