Luke 7: 29-35 What do people want

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Passages copied from the Holy Bible ESV translation.

(When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just, having been baptized with the baptism of John, 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.”

Comment: Today’s comment needs yesterdays passage and comments read to get it in context. Jesus has just answered John’s doubts and declared him the greatest of men. So today we have the response of the people to Jesus’ answer to John. John had issued a general call to repentance because of God’s coming judgement. The common people had listened and been baptised to indicate their willingness to repent. The religious leaders had refused to be involved because of their own assessment of their own self-righteousness. Obvious there is a lot of context that we don’t get by just reading this bit but with a little bit of ‘imaginitis’ we can fill it in. John abstained from luxury, Jesus ate at the tables of the rich although living a very simple life. People complained about both. They said about John ‘look at him’. You can almost see the pre-judgement in the sentence. Because he ate locusts, uugh; he wore camel’s hide, yuck! And about Jesus ‘look at him, he’s a glutton and a wine-bibber!’

What does ‘Yet wisdom is justified by all her children mean’? Maybe that God in his wisdom has room for both of them. We should learn the lesson of not being judgemental. Discerning maybe but sometimes we need open ears and shut mouths. Listen and discern before you open your mouth quickly and prove your lack of understanding.

Prayer: Help me to have the right balance in listening and speaking; in the balance between thinking about and acting out the correct response.

One thought on “Luke 7: 29-35 What do people want

  1. The verse from 1 Samuel 16:7 comes to my mind. “Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.” We humans only see the outside of a person, and we all make judgments from outward appearances, we can’t seem to help it. It is “human nature.” But God sees the heart, the motives, the desire to follow God and love Him, or the rejection of God. This is where we Christians need to be careful, and discerning. Someone once said, “We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen twice as much as we speak.” James 1:19 says something very similar. The Book of James of course deals with our mouths and how we need to be careful because “one small spark can set a forest on fire.” James 3:1-12. The other thought I had in regard to the criticism of both John the Baptist, and Jesus is “You’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t.” In other words, it doesn’t matter what a person does, it will never please everyone. Especially if you are a person who is always in the “limelight.”


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