Looking Past Making People Laugh or Cry To Do Our Real Task
but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.
“To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another,
“‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’
For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’
The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’
Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.”
Note the commentary Luke adds in before he says what Jesus said about the people. The Pharisees and experts in the law denied baptism from John because they didn’t think they needed to repent of anything. Then Jesus came along and they didn’t like what He had to say either.
I always used to read this like the ‘children’ in the parable were Jesus and John, because nobody liked what they were saying — good or bad.
But that’s not how Jesus tells it. The ‘people of this generation’ are the kids in the marketplace. They are the ones trying to play the right songs. They play the happy song and nobody dances. They play the sad songs and nobody weeps.
Maybe playing music isn’t what they were supposed to be doing in the first place!
Judging John the Baptist as having a demon wasn’t what they were supposed to be doing.
Once you look at his clothes, John the Baptist should take you back to Elijah, the greatest of the prophets. If you listen to John the Baptist like the leaders in his day should have listened to Elijah, God would move in amazing ways.
The difference here is that God is going on without them. He doesn’t need them to pay attention to John to continue to save the world. Jesus came along, full of grace, and they called Him “A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!”
While they exaggerate and are slandering, they were also relatively correct. We have evidence of Jesus eating when they thought He shouldn’t, miracling a ridiculous amount of wine together for a wedding, and we’ve already talked about tax collectors and sinners.
The same thing happens today as we judge the guy with the red hat or the lady with the BLM face mask. But we aren’t supposed to be judging them.
We’re supposed to be loving them and listening to them.
If they’re my enemy, Jesus told me to love them and care for them. If they are my friend, I should be doing it even moreso.
Judgement isn’t our work any more than kids need to be playing songs in the marketplace. Get them to help the old ladies carry their groceries! Listen to the crazy guy in the camel skin. He might just be saying something that is right.
Wisdom is justified by her children. As the false judgments of the Pharisees eventually played out, onlookers saw who was the most wise in the crowd. Even at the cross, the Pharisees heaped foolishness of judgement on themselves.
But wisdom, the humble wisdom of those that listened to John and then Jesus, was justified on Easter when judgment was put into the right hands. It takes a long time, but as we humble ourselves and listen to one another, God’s wisdom wins.