WFW: Kingdom-Minded

Matthew 11:18-19 "For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' But wisdom is justified by her children."

Have you ever wondered what Jesus meant by that last phrase? How is wisdom justified by her children?

The Greek words imply that wisdom is innocent "because of" her children. Therefore, it appears that Jesus is saying that He -- WISDOM -- though He hangs out with those whom the world would consider "dirty," is innocent by the fruit He produces: those people who enter into the kingdom of God as a result. This is why Jesus always stressed the importance of bearing fruit; after all, the New Testament tells us that abiding in Him is how we bear the fruit, and that when we are abiding in Him, we are truly loving Him. We need to always be "kingdom-minded": Is what we are doing going to make a positive mark for eternity -- or a negative one? Is what we are doing pleasing to the Lord, or not?

See, when Jesus hung out with the tax collectors and sinners, He was kingdom-minded. The Bible never says that Jesus sinned with the tax collectors and sinners; it merely says that He was a FRIEND to them. Likewise, we should be "in the world, but not of it"; we should be a friend to the person who needs it, while not sharing in their sins -- that is what true love is: "Lov[ing] your neighbor as yourself" -- viewing that person as God views him, viewing him as valuable. That man may be a drunk, but God sees his hurting heart; be a friend. Reach out with the love of Christ. It may be that your kind gestures will lead that person to Christ -- into eternal life.

As for John the Baptist, it is clear that Jesus was not looking down on him, for He said in vs 11, "Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is LEAST in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."

There are two points to get from this passage.

Number one is that we must be the least in the kingdom of heaven. What does it mean to be the least? I think it means several things. For one, Jesus said in verse 6, "And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me." He said this because, as we learn from Matthew 13:57, "So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.'" See, the people did not honor Christ; they looked at Him as just another person -- He grew up in their town after all! To be least, then, is to humble ourselves and give honor to one another, and especially to Christ. The least of these also means such an act of humility toward God that you may suffer dearly for it. In Matthew 25, Jesus said that when we care for these our brothers and sisters we are caring for Him: "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" (Matthew 25:40). This is being kingdom-minded, making an impact for eternity!

The second point is that no matter how you strive to please God -- whether it be through fasting, as it was for John; or eating and drinking, as it was for Jesus -- people are going to criticize you, the world is going to hate you. Jesus even warned of this, but He also gave us a comforting promise: "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

So do you want to be Wisdom's child? Here's one way you can be: Romans 8:15-17 states, "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." It is through the Spirit. Here's why: "Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us" (Romans 5:5). The Spirit of God is what gives us the love -- God's love -- for other people. Be God-conscious, not self-conscious; the person sitting next to you may never hear the Gospel if you don't share the love of Christ with them. Interestingly, right after Paul talks about adoption as sons in Romans 8, he says, "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (verse. 18); remember, in this life, there will be troubles, but Jesus is walking with us every step of the way through the difficult paths. In fact, in Acts 6 and 7, Stephen faced great difficulty to the point of martyrdom, yet the Scriptures say, "And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke." Spend time in God's Word (where our wisdom comes from) and get to know God more and more every day so that you will automatically be full of the love of God, wisdom and spirit in order to share the Gospel with others. They won't be able to refuse you if you are full of these things! And you are full of these things precisely BECAUSE you are children of God; this is why Paul says that we are join-heirs with Christ -- we have everything we need!

"Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure" (1 John 3:1-3). We are the fruit -- the children -- of wisdom, and we have an amazing opportunity to spread seeds into the lives of others and watch them sprout forth fruit -- and enter into the kingdom of God! Let's be kingdom-minded!


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