Wisdom Wednesday: Discerning True Wisdom

                 Discerning True Wisdom

Guest Contribution submitted by Debbie’s Dad

But wisdom is proved right by all her children

Luke 7:35


I once attended a seminar on teaching the Bible where the instructor emphasized, “The teacher has not taught until the student has learned.” For years, this short phrase has helped me remember that true teaching is measured by the impact on the student. In teaching the Bible, the instructor emphasized that the responsibility is on the teacher, not the student; the proof of learning is measured by the student’s application of the material. Presenting Bible knowledge alone is not teaching; evidence of changed lives influenced by the Biblical message is.

Even more so, wisdom is not measured by the articulation of knowledge but by a life of actions that give evidence of Godly wisdom. Wisdom in a student’s life is not observed by listening to a teacher but by watching the day-to-day life of the student who walks with God. Wisdom is not a thing of “knowing”; it is a thing of “living.” The evidence is not in what we say but in what we do.   We might say, “We are not wise until we live our life day-by-day wisely.”

Jesus said as much when he was talking to a crowd in the city of Capernaum after he had performed miracles to validate that He was the Messiah. Luke recorded the account in Chapter 7, verses 24-33:

  • In verses 24-28, Jesus complimented John the Baptist’s ministry as a prophet and forerunner of the Messiah. Yet as great as John was in His ministry, those who inherit the Kingdom of God will be greater than John in his earthly ministry!
  • Luke added a comment in verses 29-30 to explain that those who had accepted John’s message and were baptized agreed that God’s way (Jesus’ message) was correct, but that the religious experts and Pharisees rejected John’s baptism also rejected Jesus’ message.
  • Then Jesus spoke in verses 31-35 to explain what was happening:

 “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:

‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;

we sang a dirge, and you did not cry’.

For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’  The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” ‘   But wisdom is proved right by all her children.”  (Luke 7:24-35)


Those who rejected Jesus’ message – a message of God’s wisdom – were likened to children who wanted John and Jesus to meet their demands. They rejected John as a demon, Jesus as a drunkard, and more. Their wisdom was not of God, and their judgment was evidence of their foolishness. Jesus said, “…  wisdom is proved right by all her children.” Matthew’s account of this saying by Jesus (Matt. 11:19) uses the term works rather than children,”… Wisdom is proved right by her works.”

Earlier, Jesus had noted that “a tree is known by its fruit …” (Luke 6:44).

The followers of John and Jesus (children) and the evidence of their lives (works or fruit) demonstrated the wisdom of following the way, the truth, and the life that Jesus declared.

How we live our lives is evidence of the wisdom and the way we follow. In Jesus’ day, those who accepted John’s baptism of repentance and reception of Jesus as the lamb of God were proof of their wisdom. The behavior of those who rejected the message was evidence of their foolishness.

Paul also warned about the “appearance of wisdom” that had no real spiritual power. Writing to believers at the city of Colossae, he warned of the legalism of rules and regulations that brought no spiritual value., “Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. (Col. 2:23)

May our lives be evidence of genuine wisdom, imparted by God as we walk in His ways and trust in His grace and power.

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