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What does Jesus mean when he says, "But wisdom is justified by her children"?


Luke 7:35

ESV - 35 Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.

Clarify Share Report Asked May 20 2018 Received 167270910322119 Gregory Jones

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
Jesus made this remark in reference to his opponents among the members of the Jewish religious establishment, and their inconsistent beliefs and teachings about God.

John the Baptist had lived an extremely austere lifestyle while preaching in the desert. As the Bible says (Matthew 3:4-5), he fed himself not with lavish banquets, but with locusts and wild honey. His "wardrobe" consisted only of a garment made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist.

The Jewish religious authorities resented John the Baptist for denouncing their hypocrisy (the inconsistency between their religious teachings to the people and their own actual lifestyle that did not conform to those teachings)(Matthew 3:7-10). They therefore rejected John as the true prophet that he was. They said instead that John was insane, and even that he was possessed by a demon (Luke 7:33), because of his unconventional appearance and manner of living.

Jesus, by contrast, as part of His outreach to sinners, willingly associated, dined, and shared wine with people whom the religious leaders regarded as the dregs of society, including tax collectors.

Although Jesus' behavior was very different from the lifestyle for which the religious leaders had found fault with John (and therefore should not have been grounds for them to criticize Jesus), the religious leaders also condemned Him anyway, and called Him a glutton and a drunkard -- not because those descriptions were true or accurate (because they were not), but because of their disagreement with Jesus' (accurate) condemnation of the religious leaders' hypocrisy (just as John the Baptist had earlier condemned them), and because of the resulting desire of those leaders to discredit Him and (if possible) to destroy Him.

In doing this, they were oblivious to the inconsistency of their opinions of John and Jesus, which Jesus did not hesitate to point out by indicating (in the verse cited in the question) that people who take such inconsistent or contradictory positions (even when they themselves know that those positions are wrong) are somehow always able to overlook the illogical nature of their views, and to justify or give plausible explanations for their inconsistency. That is what He meant when He wryly noted that "wisdom is justified by all her children".

May 21 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
Good question, Gregory, and I am glad you asked! Warren Wiersbe says, "God’s wisdom...is demonstrated in the changed lives of those who believe."

I like how this translation puts it: 

Luke 7:35 Opinion polls don't count for much, do they? The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

March 26 2024 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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