The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘See! A gluttonous man and a wino, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is declared righteous by her works.” Bible see other translations

“See.” The Greek word is idou (#2400 ἰδού), and it is used to get our attention. See commentary on Matthew 1:20.

“But wisdom is declared righteous by her works.” When people do wise things and they work out well, then the “wisdom” that they applied is shown to be true wisdom. Many things that are “wise” from a godly point of view are “foolishness” to the world (1 Cor. 1:18-25), but actually, the “wisdom” of this world is foolishness with God (1 Cor. 3:19). Believers need to be confident that when they obey God, no matter how foolish it seems to the world and no matter how loud the unbelievers mock, in the end, the true wisdom will be shown to be the right way, and the “worldly wisdom” will be shown to be foolish.

In the context of Matthew 11:19, the primary examples of people who were wise in a godly way are John the Baptist and Jesus, and their works, though foolish in the eyes of the world, will prove to be wise and right in the end, and the same is true for all believers who follow God’s guidance. Sometimes the true wisdom of following God is not revealed until much later or even until the Day of Judgment. The “wise” action of Jesus in following God’s guidance and going to the cross was not revealed until his resurrection and actually will not be fully revealed until all the righteous people whose salvation was paid for by Jesus’ blood are raised from the dead also. Christians must trust God and be patient to let the wisdom of what they do be revealed, and that may take some time.

This statement in Matthew 11:19 harmonizes with Luke 7:35, which says basically the same thing but uses slightly different wording. Luke 7:35 says, “wisdom is declared righteous by all her children” (see commentary on Luke 7:35). The “children” of a mother follow in the ways of the mother and do the works the mother and father instruct (cp. Prov. 1:8). It helps to understand what Christ was saying when we know that the word “wisdom” is feminine in both Greek and Hebrew, and is represented by a woman in Proverbs (cp. Prov. 9:1-5).

Commentary for: Matthew 11:19