4th Week After Pentecost v'3f Tuesday

  Matthew 11:16-20  But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is
like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their
fellows,  17 And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced;
we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.  18 For John came
neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.  19 The Son
of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous,
and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is
justified of her children.  20 Then began he to upbraid the cities
wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:

 Who is who? 

  "This generation"  is the Jews who were not accepting Jesus' preaching
and way of life. They found excuses (with excuses in sins) to not follow
the righteous way of life. They are also referred to as the  "fellows"
who would not listen to the rebuke of the   "children sitting in the
markets" (who are St John the Baptist and Jesus, and, by extension all

 The righteous way of life "speaks" to the unrighteous, whether it be
from St John or Jesus, or our poor efforts. They are hearing from  their
own conscience.

 ¦g To make excuse with excuses in sins¦h

 The unrighteous judged the Baptist, because his way of life was too
severe for them. He is indicated as one who "mourned". His dedication to
righteousness was evident by the way he lived - and their judgment of
him was a classic example of the judgment that people heap on others who
are righteous because they are not righteous which the Lord described
elsewhere: "Is thine eye evil because I am good?" (Mat 20:15) They were
chastened by his way of life - it exposed the hypocrisy of their
self-indulgence. Rather than repent, they used judgment of St John, with
a fabricated charge (having a devil) to mollify their conscience. 

 They also judged Jesus, whose way of life did not appear to be as
severe as St John's, so He is indicated as one who has "piped". This
does not mean that Jesus way of life was frivolous merrymaking, but
rather, that in the eyes of the Jews, his way of life was not as severe
and physically self-mortifying as the Baptist's.  Amazingly, they
considered Jesus to be guilty of their sins, which they did not
recognize in themselves (gluttony and drunkenness). 

 The self-indulgent sinner will be inherently judgmental of others, and
very often, judges another for the very sins they commit. Feeling
superior to others keeps us from seeing our own sins. Their prejudice
against publicans and "sinners" made it easier to take the focus off
themselves. Seeing someone who epitomized the love of God by loving all
men cut them to the quick and challenged their prejudices. 

 In essence, both righteous men were judged for the same reasons - their
conduct pricked the conscience of the Jews, and an unrepentant person
does not want to be reminded of his sins, so he manufactures reasons to
reject the person who pricks his conscience. 

  "But Wisdom is justified of her children"  

 Wisdom is another title Christ uses for Himself. The OT uses this title
extensively also. The children of Wisdom are those who follow His way of

 Justified is a word that encompasses righteousness. We are justified
when we become righteous. Jesus is saying that He, Wisdom, will have
righteous children - Christians. 

 We have the wrong idea of "justice" in our culture, which thinks of it
as something that is imposed as a punishment on someone who has done
wrong, or when something is given to someone to correct a wrong. This is
not justice, but fallen human nature looking out for its own interests.
Justice does not involve revenge or punishment. It is to live in a
certain way - the way which Wisdom has taught us.