Matthew 11:16-19 – “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: 17 “‘We played the flute 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 actions.” NIV
Sparked by John the Baptist’s disciples coming and asking for confirmation that He was the promised Messiah, Jesus talks about people’s receptivity to encounter God. He asks a question that He answers which is somewhat unusual for Jesus. He says that “this generation” is like children who want God and His messengers to perform in the manner that they expect or desire. Unless the others live up to their expectations and play their game, they won’t have anything to do with them. By implication, He is saying that this is the way people of that generation behaved toward both John the Baptist and Him.
He uses both John and Himself as examples. They each approached their generation from a different perspective, John from an ascetic and “in your face” manner and Jesus from engaging people in the culture perspective, and people found fault with them both. It is interesting how people can find fault with a loving God that just wants to communicate with them. They expect Him to play at their games and by their rules. When He doesn’t, they feel justified in ignoring Him just like little children. Sadly, they miss many of the blessings that God wants to bring into their lives.
So how am I ignoring God or His messengers because of my preconceived ideas of how they should behave? Do I expect God to play my games, or am I willing to join Him in His mission in this world?