Luke 7:33 – 35  “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.”

     John and Jesus were related by blood and spirit.  John knew Jesus; “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire”  (Matthew 3:11)  Although contemporaries, they were also like book ends for the history of mankind.  John, the best  of the old covenant which was to conclude and Jesus was the new covenant unfolding.  The Pharisees found fault with John because he was too austere and with Jesus because he had fun in life.

    John recognised the Pharisees for what they were;  “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”(Matthew 3:7)  Jesus recognised the Pharisees for what they were; “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”  (Matthew 12:34)

     The Pharisees being vipers struck out with venom in their mouths.  It didn’t matter how goodness was packaged they criticised and spoke against it.  Jesus warned them and us about the words and judgements we utter; “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement.” (Matthew 12:36)  I shudder at my own tendencies towards fault finding and criticism.  Jesus’ words convict me; “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned”  (Matthew 12:37)

    Scripture tells us that our tongues create huge problems for us; “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:8)  If no man can tame the tongue, we must look to God to do this work in our lives. We cannot look to our worldly wisdom for a cure; “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.” (James 3:14,15)

     I am left where I usually end up by calling out in desperation;

     Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.  (Psalm 51:10)

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