Matthew 11:16-19

Matthew 11:16-19

“But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, and saying, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we mourned to you, and you did not lament.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 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.”

Can you imagine living on locusts and wild honey? I’ve heard that the locust that John lived on was actually the locust bean, and not the little critters...which may be a little bit of a relief to some! But, either way, what kind of a rebuke is that to the way that normal people eat then and especially today? Someone would certainly say that they wouldn’t eat like that unless they were mourning some sad event.

But wasn’t John’s life a life of mourning, really? He lived in the wilderness, away from society (a whole separate point that we can learn from), wore a basic camel skin for clothes, and lived on a super simple vegetarian diet: beans and honey. And he preached the message of repentance from sin. A tough message to give indeed! You try telling someone that they aren’t living right and see what kind of a response you get! That very message got John thrown in prison, and, ultimately, beheaded. Did John live a life that typified “mourning”? I believe that he did.

Then came Jesus in His ministry. He had private time with His Father regularly, but He spent a lot of His time among the people, going to sinners houses like Zacchaeus and eating and drinking with them. Jesus enjoyed the company of the people that He had created. He preached a similar message as John: repentance towards God and the turning away from sin. But He supported His message with miracles, healing, and casting out demons. He was playing the flute, so to speak, as He told people that salvation had come to them! And, sadly, like so many, they wouldn’t have him, either.

The leaders said that Jesus was working by the power of the devil, and they probably said something similar about John, too. Both Jesus and John tried to get the people to come out and either dance the dance of salvation with them, or, if more appropriate for that person, to feel sorrow for their life of sin and turn away from it. Playing the flute, or mourning. Why is it that it takes some of us so long to hear that call in our lives? Why is that some never even want to respond to it?

Jesus is calling you today. He wants you to spend time with Him. Pray, even if you don’t know what to say. Even if it’s been a long time. Jesus is returning very soon, and He wants to take as many with us as He can! But He can only save us with our permission. A drowning person can only be pulled to safety if they take hold of the rope that is thrown to them. Take hold of that rope today, regardless of what your life may look like. Come to Jesus, for He says that He won’t cast out any that come to Him. Jesus loves you! And that’s the good news, right there!

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