Matthew 11:19

The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Const. Faust., xvi, 31: I would that the Manichaens would tell me what Christ ate and drank, who here speaks of Himself as eating and drinking in comparison of John, who did neither. Not indeed that John drank nothing at all, but that he drank neither wine nor strong drink—but water only. Not that he dispensed altogether with food, but that he ate only locusts and wild honey. Whence thenis it said of him that he came neither eating nor drinking, except that he used not that food which the Jews used? Unless therefore the Lord had used this food, He would not have been said to have been, in comparison of John, “eating and drinking.” It would be strange that he who ate locusts and honey, should be said to come “neither eating nor drinking,” and that he who ate only bread and herbs, should be said to come eating and drinking. Again, John had nothing to show besides his life, and his righteousness; whereas Christ had also the witness of His miracles. Leaving therefore to John the representa...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Come eating and drinking. Whereas John came living in the wilderness on locusts, wild honey Yet most part of the Jews neither regarded Christ nor St. John: nay the Pharisees here (ver. 18) say of John, that he is possessed with a devil. Wisdom is justified by her children. That is, by such as are truly wise; and the sense seems to be, that the divine wisdom and Providence hath been justified, i.e. approved, owned, and declared just and equitable by those that being truly wise, have made good use of the favours and graces offered them at this time of their redemption, when others have remained obstinate in their blindness, and refused to believe in Christ. (Witham) That is, the multitude of believers by their faith justify the providence and justice of God, against the calumnies of the wicked; for as these believed, what hindered others also from believing? where it appears that Divine Providence omitted nothing of those things, which were necessary to procure and promote the salvatio...

Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
Ap. Anselm: By “this generation” He means the Jews together with Himself and John. As though He had said; John is thus great; but ye would believe neither him nor Me, and therefore to whom shall I liken you?

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
The whole of this speech is a reproach of unbelief, and arises out of the foregoing complaint; that the stiff-necked people had not learned by two different modes of teaching. He is wisdom itself not by His acts, but by His nature. Many indeed evade that saying of the Apostle’s, “Christ is the wisdom and power of God,” by saying, that truly in creating Him of a Virgin the Wisdom and Power of God were shown mightily. Therefore that this might not be so explained, He calls Himself the Wisdom of God, shewing that it was verily He, and not the deeds relating to Him, of whom this was meant. For the power itself, and the effect of that power, are not the same thing; the efficient is known from the act. Mystically; Neither did the preaching of John bend the Jews, to whom the law seemed burdensome in prescribing meats and drinks, difficult and grievous, having in it sin which He calls having a demon—for from the difficulty of keeping it they must sin under the Law. Nor again did the preaching ...


AD 420
They say therefore, “We have played music to you, and ye have not danced;” i.e. We have called on you to work good works to our songs, and ye would not. Wehave lamented and called you to repentance, and this ye would not, rejecting both preaching, as well of exhortation to virtue, as of repentance for sin. The children are they of whom Isaiah speaks, “Behold I, and the children whom the Lord has given me.” These children then sit in the market-place, where are many things for sale, and say. If fasting then pleases you, why were you not satisfied with John! If fulness,why not with the Son of man? Yet one of these ye said had a daemon, the otherye called a gluttonous man, and drunkard. “Wisdom is justified of her children,” i. e. The dispensation or doctrine of God, or Christ Himself who is the power and wisdom of God, is proved by the Apostles, who are His children, to have done righteously. Some copies read, “Wisdom is justified of her works,” for wisdom does not seekthe witness of wor...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Whence He puts this question, shewing that nothing had been omitted that ought to be done for their salvation, saying, “To whom shall I liken this generation?. “We have played music to you, and ye have not danced;” that is, I have shewedyou an unrestricted life, and ye are not convinced; “We have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented;” that is, John lived a hard life, and ye heeded himnot. Yet does not he speak one thing, and I another, but both speak the samething, because both have one and the same object. “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a demon. The Son of man came”. What excuse then shall be given for them? Therefore He adds, “And wisdom is justified of her children;” that is, though ye were not convinced, yet have yenothing whereof to accuse me, as also of the Father the Prophet speaks, “Thatthou mightest be justified in thy sayings.” For though nought be effected in you by that goodness which is extended to you, yet He fulfils all His part t...

Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
And straightway He answers Himself, saying, “It is like unto children sitting in the market-place, crying unto their fellows, and saying, We have played music to you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned, and ye have not lamented.”. What is that He says, “To their fellows?” Were the unbelieving Jews then fellows of the Prophets? He speaks thus only because they were sprung of one stock.

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
He compares John’s way of life to mourning, for John showed great severity both in words and deeds, and His own life on earth He compares to piping, that is, to the sound of the flute. For the Lord was most gracious and pleasing, condescending to all that He might win all, bringing the good tidings of the kingdom, and He was not severe in appearance as was John. . This is what He is saying: so, then, since neither John’s life nor My own pleases you, but you scorn all the means of salvation, I Who am Wisdom am justified [that is, shown to be righteous, and vindicated]. Therefore you will have no excuse but will be utterly condemned. For I, on My part, have done everything, yet you, by your refusal to believe, prove that I Who omitted nothing am justified.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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