To read today’s Bible passage online please click here. The notes this week have been prepared by Bill.
Unlike all the people who had been baptised by John (v29), the religious leaders rejected God’s purpose for themselves. How sad that, in the words of John’s gospel “… his own did not receive him.” (John 1.11). They neither listened to John nor to Jesus. They were like wilful children, determined to go their own way. They wouldn’t dance to a merry tune or cry to a sad one. Whatever message God sent them, they would not listen. Whoever God sent to speak to them, whether it was the messenger foretold in their scriptures who would prepare the way for the Lord, or whether it was God’s own Son himself, they rejected them. More than that they were determined to find fault with John the Baptist (too self-denying) and with Jesus (too involved with dodgy people). Luke tells us this solemn fact that these people rejected God’s purpose for themselves v30.
Jesus introduces a contrast to this sad state of affairs. He says, “Wisdom is proved right by all her children” v35. In other words there are those who will listen, and they are the ones who are wise because they seek the Lord with all their hearts. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Jesus ended the Sermon on the Mount by talking about truly wise people. “Everyone who hears (my words) and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” When the storm came, the house stood firm. (Matthew 7.24-25)
The bible describes people like the religious leaders as “wise in their own eyes” (Isaiah 5.21). Some of their number had seen Jesus perform miracles, they were incredibly privileged to live at a time when he was here on earth, and to meet him. Yet sadly they rejected him. True wisdom is to give Jesus his rightful place, to listen to his word and put it into practice.