There’s No Pleasing Some People

In Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”,brian-and-the-leper a leper tells Brian how he was cured by Jesus, but goes on to complain that his career as a beggar has been ruined. When Brian gives him only a small coin, he complains about that too. When Brian says “There’s no pleasing some people”, the leper comments that “That’s just what Jesus said”. It turns out that that is just what Jesus said:

What shall I liken this generation to? It is like children, sitting in the market, and calling to their friends: “We have played the pipes for you, but you haven’t danced; we have lamented before you, but you have not cried.”

For when John came, fasting and abstaining from drinking, they said, “He is possessed by a devil.” But when I come, eating and drinking, they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard who befriends traitors and sinners.”

He then makes the enigmatic statement:

But wisdom is justified by her children.

This saying has been subjected to tortuous mental gymnastics, including treating wisdom as the divine wisdom, the Sophia, and her children as the children of god. But the meaning is simple: You know the wisdom of something by its results.


About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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