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The Scriptorium

Such Great Wisdom

Jesus had it. Luke 7.29-35

Luke 7 (5)

Pray Psalm 111.1-3.
Praise the LORD!
I will praise the LORD with my whole heart,
In the assembly of the upright and in the congregation.
The works of the LORD are great,
Studied by all who have pleasure in them.
His work is honorable and glorious,
And His righteousness endures forever.

Sing Psalm 111.1-3.
(Manoah: When All Your Mercies, O My God)
Praise the Lord! O let my heart give praise here amid His chosen race!
Your works are great, O Lord, and sought by all who know their grace.

For Your work is full of splendor, Lord, and of majesty most pure;
Your righteousness, O glorious God, forever will endure!

Read Luke 7.1-35; meditate on verses 29-35.


1. Why did the religious leaders reject John?

2. Why did they reject Jesus?

“No doubt you are the people, and wisdom will die with you!” Job’s biting retort to his self-righteous, know-it-all friends (Job 12.1) could have been spoken to the religious leaders of Jesus’ day. Divided into opposing camps, they were determined to maintain their perceived priority of place, and they were not open to any new or merely popular beliefs.

Especially not from wine-bibbing locust-eaters or unschooled, rabble-friendly, self-styled rabbis.

They were, Jesus said, like children, holding stubbornly to their own preferred agenda, unable to persuade those with differing ideas, and looking out only for themselves (vv. 31, 32). They demonized John for his abstinence and austerity; and they denounced Jesus because He drank wine and befriended the friendless. They considered themselves the keepers of God’s wisdom, so to admit that John or Jesus might have had something important to say would have exposed their house-of-cards status.

Yet for all their supposed wisdom, the people they served lived miserable, poor, fearful lives under the boot of a foreign Gentile power and the intimidating eye of jealous priests and scribes.

Where wisdom really resides, Jesus insisted, wise fruit – “children” – will be in evidence. Everyone could know where true wisdom lay by comparing Jesus and His ministry to Solomon’s poem on Wisdom in Proverbs 8. Who was more like what Solomon described? Jesus or the Pharisees?

No-brainer, no contest. The great wisdom of Jesus was on display for all to see. And that really irritated the religious leaders of His day.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
 And what is different about today? We still have avid turf-protectors for pastors and awful self-serving politicians for leaders.

“That which has been is what will be,
that which is done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecc. 1.9).

If “wisdom is justified by all her children” (Lk. 7.35), then where are we? Where do we fit into this equation?
“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not retuning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing” (1 Pet. 3.8, 9).

We dare not be turf-protecting or self-serving for any reason; but we must be compassionate, loving, tenderhearted, courteous, and not vengeful. To this we are called; and to this we must agree, as we are “created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Eph. 2. 10).

Jesus clearly was not amused by “those children sitting in the marketplace” (Lk. 7.32). May we instead behave in a way that delights Him.
“…the blameless in their ways are His delight” (Prov. 11.20).
“…those who deal truthfully are His delight” (Prov. 12.22).
“…for the LORD delights in you” (Is. 62.4).

“I delight to do Your will, O my God,
and Your law is within my heart” (Ps. 40.8).

Instead of being unamusing, turf-protecting, self-serving children in the marketplace, we can change our status simply by being pleasing to Him, by doing His will. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 Jn. 3.1 NIV)

For reflection
1. What was wrong about the religious leaders of Jesus’ day?

2. As “children” of Wisdom, what fruit should we bear in our lives?

3. How would you counsel a new believer to learn what was pleasing to God?

The Lord made a truly necessary addition to these words when he said, “And wisdom is justified by her children.” If you ask who those children are, read what is written, “The sons of wisdom are the church of the just.” Augustine (354-430), Letter 36

Pray Psalm 111.4-11.
Praise and thank the Lord for His many wondrous works, for His work within you and the power He gives you to be His witness, and for His sure and reliable truth.

Sing Psalm 111.4-11.
(Manoah: When All Your Mercies, O My God)
You have caused Your many wondrous works to remain before our face.
For You are full of mercy, Lord, and abounding all in grace. 

For all who fear You, You provide; Your covenant endures.
Your pow’r You show Your people, Lord, and make the nations theirs.

The works of Your all-sovereign hands are faithful, Lord, and just.
Your precepts ever more are true and worthy of our trust.

You have sent redemption, to us, Lord, in Christ of cov’nant fame,
and we in wonder, grace, and awe adore Your holy Name.

All they who would true wisdom know must learn to fear You, Lord,
and in that wisdom daily live and praise You evermore.

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website,, and clicking the Scriptorium tab for last Sunday. You can download all the studies in our Luke series by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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