16 “But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, 17 and saying:
‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
We mourned to you, and you did not lament.’
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, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.”
As Jesus compared the life and ministry of John the Baptist to his own life and ministry he showed that those who were going to reject were going to reject regardless of the messenger. John came living the life of one who rejected society, adhered strictly to the Law, and did not conform to any of the styles and norms of the day. He lived in the wilderness; he never spoke to please those who heard him; he wore rough-sewn clothes, and he ate a very simple diet. It would seem that those who loved the Law would have embraced John just for his lifestyle. But they didn’t.
Jesus came wearing regular clothes, eating regular food, and ministering to sinners. His contrasting lifestyle did not cause those who were watching to believe. A simple song of the day applied to that generation as much as it does today: when the music is played the people don’t dance to it and when the mourners lament the people don’t mourn with them. Those who reject the truth of God will reject it regardless of the person presenting it.
There is a movement in some churches to get as close to the world as possible in order to attract the world to Christ. Other churches move as far away from the world as possible in order to attract people to Christ. Which way is right and which way is wrong? According to Jesus, that is the wrong question. According to Jesus, it will be evident in us when we receive the wisdom of God. There were those who repented under John’s preaching and there were those who repented under Jesus’ teaching. It wasn’t the lifestyles of Jesus and John that made the difference it was how the listener responded to their message of God’s wisdom.
Pray with me for men and women who hear the gospel to repent of their sin, accept God’s gift of salvation through Christ, and show forth the wisdom of God in their lives. We all have our opinions about the best way to follow the Lord in this world. Jesus taught that what mattered was what we did with the wisdom of God. Do our children, the fruit of our labors, show forth His wisdom. Oh that men and women and young people and children would look at us and see Christ, turn from their sin, and accept God’s offer of eternal salvation. Oh that they would see the wisdom of God in us and desire the God of eternal wisdom in their lives.
Pray with me for a young man who is caught up in the sins of the flesh. We will be talking shortly and I long for him to come to repentance. Pray also that God will open a door of utterance into another man who has not shown interest but needs the Savior.
This Saturday is Laura Massey’s wedding to Titus Carpenter. I will be officiating. If you would like to send a card to Laura and Titus, bring it Wednesday night.
Have a great day in the Lord,