Key Verse: “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they exclaim, See this man!—given to gluttony and tippling, and a friend of tax-gatherers and notorious sinners! And yet Wisdom is vindicated by her actions.”
—Matthew 11:19, Weymouth New Testament
JOHN THE BAPTIST, the last of the prophets who preceded Christ, was one of God’s chosen servants. His message was “Repent, … for the Kingdom of the Heavens is now close at hand.” (Matt. 3:1-12, Weymouth New Testament) John also proclaimed that Jesus was “the Lamb of God who is to take away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29, WNT) However, when he was put in prison, John the Baptist sent some of his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Coming One, or is it a different person that we are to expect?”—Matt. 11:2,3, WNT
Jesus answered, “Go and report to John what you see and hear, … blind eyes receive sight, and cripples walk; lepers are cleansed, and deaf ears hear; the dead are raised to life, and the poor have the Good News proclaimed to them.” (vss. 4,5, WNT) Upon receiving this answer, John must have rejoiced, fully assured that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah.
Then Jesus asked the multitude concerning John, “What did you go out into the Desert to gaze at? A reed waving in the wind?” No, John was not a weak person, nor easily influenced. “What did you go out to see?” Jesus continued. “A man luxuriously dressed?” No, John wore simple clothes and lived in seclusion, but he was faithful and earnest in the delivery of God’s message to all who would hear. Jesus further inquired, did you “see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and far more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, See I am sending my messenger before thy face, and he will make thy road ready before thee.”—vss. 7-10, WNT
Jesus then declared concerning John, “If you are willing to receive it, he is the Elijah who was to come.” (vs. 14, WNT) John did a work which fulfilled the prophecies declaring that one like Elijah must first come and do a reformatory work before Messiah would begin his ministry. (Mal. 3:1; Isa. 40:3; John 1:19-27) While many accepted John’s message, most did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah, even though it was demonstrated by many wonderful works.
John the Baptist lived simply, but some falsely claimed, “He has a demon.” Jesus lived somewhat less peculiarly, eating and drinking and being clothed as other people, but of him some falsely accused, “See this man! Given to gluttony, … and a friend of tax-gatherers and notorious sinners!” Jesus then added, “Yet Wisdom is vindicated by her actions.” God’s wisdom had sent both John the Baptist and Jesus Christ for specific and different purposes which will ultimately be vindicated, or proven right, by the fulfillment of God’s plans and purposes.—vss. 18,19, WNT
It is a great blessing and privilege to find godly wisdom. (Job 28:12-28; Prov. 3:13-18) Such wisdom had its greatest exemplification in God’s only begotten Son, “the man Christ Jesus,” “the true Light.” God’s wisdom is represented throughout the Bible. However, for a majority it is unseen and unknown. “The God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.” Thankfully, God has promised that, in due time, all the blind eyes shall be opened, and then the true light, the true wisdom from above, shall enlighten everyone!—I Tim. 2:5,6; II Cor, 4:4; Isa. 35; John 1:9