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That which was the sudden impression of the Jews, who witnessed this miracle, is the permanent impression of every Christian; the truth in which he lives and moves. A great prophet is risen up amongst us. “ Yea, and more than a prophet.” God has visited his people : “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son;" 3 "and his name is called Immanuel; God with us." 4 “He that believeth on him, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and he that liveth, and believeth on him, shall
never die.” 5
JOHN THE BAPTIST'S DISCIPLES VISIT JESUS.
WISDOM JUSTIFIED OF HER CHILDREN.
LUKE vii. 18–35.
(Matt. xi. 2–19.)
18. And the disciples of John showed him of all these things.
19. And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come ? or look we for another ? 1
3 Heb. i. 1. 4 Isa. vii. 14. 5 John xi. 25, 26.
1 It had before been revealed to John, that Jesus was the Messiah, “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the
20. When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another ?
21. And in the same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits : and unto many
that were blind he gave sight.
22. Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.
23. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in
24. And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see ? a read shaken with the wind ?
25. But what went ye out for to see ? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts.
26. But what went ye out for to see ? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.
27. This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messengers before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. ?
28. For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist : but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
John had before given his testimony to Jesus. Here Jesus gives his testimony to John. not a reed shaken with the wind : he was not as
world.” We must suppose, therefore, either that he sent to give his disciples a more certain assurance, or that his own faith required additional confirmation.
2 Mal. ii. 1.
“a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed:” he boldly reproved the people for their sins, and exhorted the Scribes and Pharisees to repentance: and whether Herod “heard him gladly," or whether he resented his faithfulness, and “cast him into prison," he was equally firm and consistent, fearing God, and knowing no other fear.
Neither was he clothed in soft raiment, a man of delicacy and luxury, such as dwell in kings' courts. He had greater concerns to engage him, and did not entangle himself with the pleasures of this life, but “endured hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”
Those, indeed, who occupy a station in the kingdom of God, and are charged with the mysteries of the gospel, are greater than he : greater, not in their character, but in the objects of their ministry. He came to "prepare the way :” they are able to point out the road, and conduct men along it. He desired to see the things which they see, and did not see them. They have no need to ask the question, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? One that is least in the kingdom of God, has a clearer insight into the mysteries of redemption than the Baptist could attain. But they must imitate his consistency, his fidelity, his self-denial, that they may be made partakers of his reward : they must be like him, “ faithful unto death,” that they may receive “ the crown of life.”
29. And all the people that heard him, and the publins, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.
2 See 2 Tim. ii. 3, 4.
30. But the Pharisees and Lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.
31. And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation ? and to what are they like?
32. 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.
33. For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.
34. 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 !
35. But wisdom is justified of all her children.
That may be said of this generation, which children complain of in their companions. We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced ; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.
have not wept. We have tried you with mirth, and you have not joined our mirtb ; we have tried you with seriousness, and our seriousness has been lost upon you. Perverse children, in whatever is proposed to them, will find something to dislike.
And this perverse generation does the same. John came with austerity: he abode in the wilderness, and companied not with other men: and they say, He hath a devil, he is mad with melancholy. The Son of man had another object, and a different way of life; he entered into the societies of men, that he might warn, instruct, exhort, rebuke. But they find a reason to blame him too: they say, “this man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them !" they believe that he is enjoying their conviviality, not that he is reforming their lives.
Religious people now are often judged after the same hard fashion.
If they decline much intercourse with others, they are too serious and exclusive: if they keep up such intercourse, they are too much of the world. If they are solemn, they are considered austere and distant; if they are cheerful and light-hearted, they are not sincere in their profession. Enmity against religion will always find some fault.
But wisdom is justified of all her children. Wisdom is religion, and religion is wisdom : and there are still those who pursue and value it. We read just before, that the people and the publicans justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John: approved the justice of his rebukes and counsels, and acted upon them. In the same manner, the children of wisdom, the truly wise, justify wisdom : understand, approve religion: approve the method of salvation which God has offered, accept, pursue it, and show its wisdom by their lives.
Observe, then, what is here pointed out. There are children of wisdom, and children of folly. We can be at no loss for the distinction between them. The children of folly, like the Pharisees and lawyers, reject the counsel of God against themselves. He tries them in every way, as the children in their sports tried their companions ; he tries them with gracious promises, and with awful threatenings : but they follow their own purposes, and are deaf to the voice of the charmer, charm he ever wisely.
The children of wisdom, on the other hand, when life and death are set before them, are taught