“To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:
17 “‘We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not mourn.’
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 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.” -Matthew 11:16-19
John the Baptist had just been murdered by the evil King Herod. It was a very sad and difficult time for Jesus and his disciples. Of John Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist.” “…He is the Elijah who was to come.”
Once followed by scores of disciples, John died alone in Herod’s dungeon. The people grew tired of him “For John came neither eating or drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’” In the end, John was too pious for the people. He was just no fun. “We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.” Society was like a bunch of fickle children. They played the pipe and expected all the others to join in a game of dance. They sang a mournful dirge and expected everyone to play the funeral game. But John didn’t come to play games or to please people. He came to preach repentance and to baptize. He came to point people to Christ. John was murdered because he wouldn’t stop preaching the law.
It was the same with Jesus. He didn’t come to play games or to please people. He came to call sinners to repentance and to faith in him. He came to offer hope for lost sinners. He came to reveal a loving God who loves sinners and wants to forgive them. So he approached and engaged sinners. He ate and drank with them, but he was called a glutton and a drunkard.
The world hasn’t changed much. Regarding Jesus, many have that childish attitude. “We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge and you did not mourn.” The world will never be satisfied with Jesus. They hate his commandments because they stifle their sinful appetites and pursuits. They hate his Gospel because it excludes their own imagined good works as the way to heaven. To some, Jesus is nothing more than a demon-possessed mad man. To others he is no better than anyone else- just a drunkard and glutton.
What do you think of Jesus? Demon possessed? A glutton and a drunkard, no less sinful than anybody else? Are you angry with him when he won’t dance your dance or play your game? No, you must shut out the noise from the world and trust with all your might the truth of Jesus. He is the creator God, he is the ruler of the nations, he is the only begotten Son of God, he is the only human to have lived a completely sinless life, he is the world’s only Savior, he is the only way to heaven, he paid the price of our redemption, he restored us as sons and daughters of God. There are lots of loose words about Jesus today. There is one Word about him that is trustworthy and true- the Bible, the Word of God. This is not a time to be fickle about Jesus. Now is the time to love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. “Wisdom is proved right by her deeds.” Jesus is proved by his cross.