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Luke 7:30

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Rejected the counsel of God - Or, frustrated the will of God - την βουλην του Θεου ηθετησαν . Kypke says the verb αθετειν has two meanings: - 1, to disbelieve; 2, despise, or disobey: and that both senses may be properly conjoined here. The will of God was that all the inhabitants of Judea should repent at the preaching of John, be baptized, and believe in Christ Jesus. Now as they did not repent, etc., at John's preaching, so they did not believe his testimony concerning Christ: thus the will, gracious counsel, or design of God, relative to their salvation, was annulled or frustrated. They disbelieved his promises, despised the Messiah, and disobeyed his precepts.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible
Verses 19-35

See this passage explained in Luke 7:29

The people - The common people.

That heard him - That heard “John.”

The publicans - The tax-gatherers, the worst kind of people, who had, however, been converted.

Justified God - Considered God as “just” or “right” in the counsel which he gave by John - to wit, in calling people to repentance, and in denouncing future wrath on the impenitent. Compare Matthew 11:19.

Being baptized … - They “showed” that they approved of the message of God by submitting to the ordinance which he commanded - the ordinance of baptism. This verse and the following are not to be considered as the words of “Luke,” but the continuation of the discourse of our Lord. He is saying what took place in regard to John. Among the common people he was approved and obeyed among the rich and learned he was despised.

Luke 7:30

But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected … - It appears from Matthew 3:7 that some of the Pharisees came to John to be baptized; but still this is entirely consistent with the supposition that the great mass of Pharisees and lawyers rejected him.

The counsel of God - The counsel of God toward them was the solemn admonition by John to “repent” and be baptized, and be prepared to receive the Messiah. This was the command or revealed will of God in relation to them. When it is said that they “rejected” the counsel of God, it does not mean that they could frustrate his purposes, but merely that they violated his commands. Men cannot frustrate the “real” purposes of God, but they can contemn his messages, they can violate his commands, and thus they can reject the counsel which he gives them, and treat with contempt the desire which he manifests for their welfare.

Against themselves - To their own hurt or detriment. God is wise and good. He knows what is best for us. He, therefore, that rejects what God commands, rejects it to his own injury. It “cannot” be well for any mortal to despise what God commands him to do.

Luke 7:31-35

See this passage explained in the notes at Matthew 11:16-19. “And the Lord said.” This clause is wanting in almost all the manuscripts, and is omitted by the best critics.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
To his miracles in the kingdom of nature, Christ adds this in the kingdom of grace, To the poor the gospel is preached. It clearly pointed out the spiritual nature of Christ's kingdom, that the messenger he sent before him to prepare his way, did it by preaching repentance and reformation of heart and life. We have here the just blame of those who were not wrought upon by the ministry of John Baptist or of Jesus Christ himself. They made a jest of the methods God took to do them good. This is the ruin of multitudes; they are not serious in the concerns of their souls. Let us study to prove ourselves children of Wisdom, by attending the instructions of God's word, and adoring those mysteries and glad tidings which infidels and Pharisees deride and blaspheme.
Ellen G. White
The Publishing Ministry, 186.1

Again and again we have seen the results of working directly against the plan of God. We have seen how great a mistake it is for men to use their influence to turn aside the counsel of God in order to bring in human devising. Men have been held in Battle Creek who ought long ago to have been out in the fields that are destitute of workers. Shall I not judge for this thing? saith the Lord. Human wisdom has urged the advantage of remaining in Battle Creek, when the Lord had said, Go; make plants in various places near to but outside the large cities.—Manuscript 76, 1905. PM 186.1

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 214-20

This chapter is based on Matthew 11:1-11; Matthew 14:1-11; Mark 6:17-28; Luke 7:19-28.

John the Baptist had been first in heralding Christ's kingdom, and he was first also in suffering. From the free air of the wilderness and the vast throngs that had hung upon his words, he was now shut in by the walls of a dungeon cell. He had become a prisoner in the fortress of Herod Antipas. In the territory east of Jordan, which was under the dominion of Antipas, much of John's ministry had been spent. Herod himself had listened to the preaching of the Baptist. The dissolute king had trembled under the call to repentance. “Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy; ... and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.” John dealt with him faithfully, denouncing his iniquitous alliance with Herodias, his brother's wife. For a time Herod feebly sought to break the chain of lust that bound him; but Herodias fastened him the more firmly in her toils, and found revenge upon the Baptist by inducing Herod to cast him into prison. DA 214.1

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 594-5

With intense interest the multitude awaited the decision. They knew that the priests had professed to accept the ministry of John, and they expected them to acknowledge without a question that he was sent from God. But after conferring secretly together, the priests decided not to commit themselves. Hypocritically professing ignorance, they said, “We cannot tell.” “Neither tell I you,” said Christ, “by what authority I do these things.” DA 594.1

Scribes, priests, and rulers were all silenced. Baffled and disappointed, they stood with lowering brows, not daring to press further questions upon Christ. By their cowardice and indecision they had in a great measure forfeited the respect of the people, who now stood by, amused to see these proud, self-righteous men defeated. DA 594.2

All these sayings and doings of Christ were important, and their influence was to be felt in an ever-increasing degree after His crucifixion and ascension. Many of those who had anxiously awaited the result of the questioning of Jesus were finally to become His disciples, first drawn toward Him by His words on that eventful day. The scene in the temple court was never to fade from their minds. The contrast between Jesus and the high priest as they talked together was marked. The proud dignitary of the temple was clothed in rich and costly garments. Upon his head was a glittering tiara. His bearing was majestic, his hair and his long flowing beard were silvered by age. His appearance awed the beholders. Before this august personage stood the Majesty of heaven, without adornment or display. His garments were travel stained; His face was pale, and expressed a patient sadness; yet written there were dignity and benevolence that contrasted strangely with the proud, self-confident, and angry air of the high priest. Many of those who witnessed the words and deeds of Jesus in the temple from that time enshrined Him in their hearts as a prophet of God. But as the popular feeling turned in His favor, the hatred of the priests toward Jesus increased. The wisdom by which He escaped the snares set for His feet, being a new evidence of His divinity, added fuel to their wrath. DA 594.3

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5 (EGW), 1120

29 (Matthew 9:9, 10; Mark 2:14, 15). Matthew Honored Christ Before Friends—In his grateful humility, Matthew desired to show his appreciation of the honor bestowed upon him, and, calling together those who had been his associates in business, in pleasure, and sin, he made a great feast for the Saviour. If Jesus would call him, who was so sinful and unworthy, He would surely accept his former companions who were, thought Matthew, far more deserving than himself. Matthew had a great longing that they should share the benefits of the mercies and grace of Christ. He desired them to know that Christ did not, as did the scribes and Pharisees, despise and hate the publicans and sinners. He wanted them to know Christ as the blessed Saviour. 5BC 1120.1

At the feast the Saviour occupied the most honored seat. Matthew was now the servant of Christ, and he would have his friends know in what light he regarded his Leader and Master. He would have them know that he felt highly honored in entertaining so royal a guest. 5BC 1120.2

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Jesus' Ministry in Galilee and Journey to Jerusalem