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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

THE JUST WISDOM OF CHILDREN

Luke 7:29-35 And all the people that heard Him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation, and to what are they like? They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept. For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! But wisdom is justified of all her children.

All the Jews that came out to hear the preaching of John the Baptist, were, in the lesson text, placed into two different groups. The lesson text tells us that the Jews, known as publicans, heard his message and were baptized with the baptism of John. Following that versewe are told that the Pharisees and lawyers, heard his teaching but rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. The publicans that were considered to be immoral and sinners by the Jewish leaders were the ones that realized their sinful condition, repented, were baptized, and became followers of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers (considered to be scribes, or teachers of the law) rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. The Jews that supposedly had read and studied God's word and the prophecies concerning the promised Messiah, they were the very ones that should have known the will of God. They were the ones that rejected the prophet, John the Baptist, whom God sent to proclaim that His kingdom was at hand. They acted against themselves, that is, they did their eternal souls, as well as all souls that they influenced, great harm by rejecting God's counsel that would have ultimately led them to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.

Because of this obvious disparity between these two classes of Jews, Jesus questions those that rejected the counsel of God with this rhetorical question: Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation, and to what are they like? He is asking, to what can I compare this dogmatic generation of Jews? He then proceeds to answer His own question. He tells us that they are like a group of children in the public marketplace that have invited another group of children to play with them. One group played lively music, similar to that usually found at a wedding, but the other group's spirits were not inspired or uplifted to cause them to dance. And when they played soulful music, much like at a funeral, the others were not saddened enough to grieve and weep tears of sorrow. There was nothing the one group of children could do that was pleasing to the other.

This analogy seemed to apply exactly to the Jews, and especially to the Jewish leaders that continually found fault with all teaching of the coming kingdom of God, and defied the fact that it was near at hand. They criticized John the Baptist for his crude attire, limiting his food to locusts and wild honey (Matt. 3:4), and refusing to drink neither wine nor strong drink (Luke 1:15). No doubt John was a very humble man that led a simple, austere life. But because of his manner of life, they mocked and condemned him by saying he hath a devil. His different behavior they attributed to demon possession. And yet when Jesus came with no self-imposed restrictions on eating and drinking, these same Jews were equally critical of His actions. They referred to Him as a gluttonous man, and a winebibber - one that over eats and drinks excessive amounts of wine. It seems that Jesus dined wherever He was invited to do so, and especially with those that appeared to be steeped in sin and in need of spiritual guidance. Because of this truth, Jesus often dined with, and became a friend of publicans and sinners!

So it is today. Wherever the gospel of salvation through Christ Jesus is taught, there will always be those that, through their own self-righteous human wisdom, will find fault, criticize, and reject the will of God. Self-willed men and women of all generations and nationalities fail to submit to God's calling - to become His children through water baptism for the remission of their sins, and be added to His church, the church of Christ. Jesus said, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 18:3b). Only then can it be found that wisdom is justified of all her children.