13 December 2013

Wise Works Vindicate

“. . .wisdom is vindicated by her works” (Matthew 11.19)

Ever practical and very much aware of our human frailties, Jesus dares us to do more than simply be wise. He dares us to work wisely, or to accomplish wise works. The phrase “wisdom is vindicated by her works” is comparable to “without works faith is dead.” While wisdom and faith are different virtues, the works that complete each virtue look very much alike. The difference might be that while good works show faith, wise works vindicate wisdom. Generally, we use “vindicate” to mean something like “to right a wrong.” However, an obsolete use of the word makes much more sense here: “to set free.” Consider: “wisdom is set free by her works,” or “wisdom is let loose by her works.” In the context of Jesus' remarks in Matthew, this rendition helps us to understand that the false charges being made against the Lord will be seen as false once his wisdom is set free/let loose by his wise works. The question is: who among his enemies then and among us even now have the eyes to see and the ears to hear the wisdom of his words and deeds?

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