We read today how John the Baptist sent messengers to Jesus with a question, “‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?'” [Luke 7 v.20] We are sure John would have known what the prophets predicted, but he had not absorbed them in a balanced way – and we have an identical challenge today! The more carefully we read and absorb them – the more we will be able to properly understand them.
Jesus, as usual, did not give a straight ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer to John’s messengers. He tells them, ” “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.” [v.22,23] Isaiah was the main prophet to ‘paint’ various parts of this scene of the work of the Messiah: have a look at ch. 29 v.18-19, 42 v.6-7 and 61 v.1-3.
We note the blunt statement in v.30 about how “the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves” Nearly everyone does the same today, and how many of those who do not do so – really understand “the purpose of God for themselves“? We have to make sure we do.
People have a different reason for turning their back on Jesus today: they have convinced themselves, as a result of their own self-centred thinking, that there is no God, that there never was a Creator, all that exists came into being as a sort of unending ‘accidents’ – therefore Jesus and what he said, has no relevance in their lives.
Jesus asked a question (v.31) “To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like?” He answers! “They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another” [v.32] This is a significant saying to meditate on – the internet and emails is “the marketplace” of this generation.
Jesus concludes his summation of their attitudes with 6 telling words! “Wisdom is justified by her children” Putting this another way – the end result of the attitude of mind of that generation and ours – is nothingness – there are no “children”! They – and people today – have almost all lost any expectation of the future; Jesus and his message mean nothing to them.
When Paul began his 1st letter to the Corinthians he told them, ” Jesus … became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” [1 v.30] A power of meaning in those few words. To this we must add the words of James, ” the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” [3 v.17] Let us possess that kind of wisdom!