“‘For John [the Baptist] came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He has a demon.” The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, “Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.’”
Here Jesus points out the fickleness of superficial human judgements. Human beings are prone to gossip, envy and anger – so we are quick to assume we know what’s going on with other people based on their outward appearance and actions. We tend to feel threatened by people who seem different from us because: 1) they might be dangerous and try to harm us; or 2) they might be “better” than us in some way. So we take the coward’s way – and judge people and talk behind their backs.
What good does all this do? No good whatsoever. It’s a pure waste of energy that could be spent on understanding the other person better (by actually spending time with the person and getting to know him/her!) – and understanding our own pre-conceived ideas and fears.
Jesus sums up by saying, “Wisdom is proved right by her deeds.” This is similar to what he says elsewhere: “By their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:16). He reminds us that it’s not a simple matter to judge who is “right or wrong” or “bad or good.” Although we may be confused by many situations, we will recognize – by the grace of God – true goodness and wisdom when we see them.
And in the end, it’s not our judgements that matter. God is the One who has the final say, because only God sees the whole picture and knows the intentions hidden in hearts.