31 “To what then should I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to each other: We played the flute for you, but you didn’t dance; we sang a lament, but you didn’t weep! 33 For John the Baptist did not come eating bread or drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon! ’ 34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners! ’ 35 Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”
In this passage, we see people reject both Jesus and John the Baptist, but with opposing reasoning. On one hand, there is John the Baptist, living an austere life as a Nazirite, neither eating bread nor drinking wine. On the other hand, there is Jesus, eating and drinking and engaging people with great enthusiasm and passion. Yet, both face critical accusations. The people want a middle-of-the-road Savior, one who gets along with them and doesn’t shake things up too much.
When people reject Jesus, nothing else can satisfy them. “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person,” wrote Blaise Pascal, “which cannot be satisfied by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”
Jesus compares the unregenerate mindset to spoiled children in the marketplace, who refuse to be happy when others play the flute and refuse to weep when others play a lament.
John Piper said in a sermon, “God warns with his wrath and he woos with his kindness. He speaks both languages: severity and tenderness…but they would not hear. Unbeliever, God is speaking to you in your pain to warn you, and God is speaking to you in your pleasure to woo you. Don’t misread the voice of God.”
Some people think judgment will occur after death when God puts all of our “good works” on one side of a “righteousness scale” and our “bad deeds” on the other. Whichever side is heaviest will determine our eternal destiny. Friend, this is NOT what the Bible teaches! Absolutely, the worst form of human “badness” is human “goodness” that’s been substituted for salvation.
God is so loving and kind. He does not want you to be ignorant about your relationship with Him. Whether God is warning you or wooing you, you can respond and know Him personally and intimately. There is no logical or emotional reason to fear God’s plans for you! God only wants for you what you would want for yourself if you had perfect knowledge.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Will you look at Jesus a little closer?