We Played But You Didn’t Dance

Matthew 11:16-19

“But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates, 

 “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
    we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’

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 at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”

Originally I thought these verses should be cut in half, with verses sixteen and seventeen being one post and then eighteen and nineteen being another.  But after reviewing all four verses, I realized they are meant to be as one.

Jesus is addressing a crowd, after confirming to the disciples of John the Baptist that Jesus is the Messiah, the one sent by God.

John the Baptist and his disciples led a very austere life, fasting and with little comforts.  John preached of the repentance of sin through Baptism.  Jesus and his disciples enjoyed feasts and modest comforts afforded to them by followers and believers.

In verse 17 Christ says of his generation, primarily the leaders, the Pharisees and the priests:

We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;

Christ brought them a message of joy, hope and forgiveness of sin, and they were not moved.

we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.

John the Baptist reminded them of the wages of sin, which is death, and they were not moved.

In verses 18 and 19, Jesus tells them (the leaders), those who will not seek God or righteousness, how they respond to the facts that do not fit their agenda.

John did not eat or drink, well then, he must have demons.

Jesus ate and drank, well then, he’s a glutton and a lush.

If this is how we behave with a prophet from God and the Son of God, why would we be  any different today?

We see this same reaction today, in all the theaters of life, especially the political theater.  The narrative must fit the agenda, otherwise it must be discredited and dismissed as evil and wrong.  One person is a hero today but when they step outside the narrative they become the villain.  This happens with all groups and types, no one person or group is exempt.  It’s the nature of man, the vanity of man.  It’s the vanity of mankind to be right in their own eyes and fulfill their prophesies, their selfish desires.

Christ speaks of the character assassination used on those who disagree or think differently.  John the prophet of God must have a demon, Christ the Son of God is a drunkard and glutton.  There is no conversation, no seeking of truth.  All there is, is just protecting power at all costs.

It’s what man does and man will always do.  The desire for worldly treasures allows us to destroy those we perceive as a threat to meaningless things.  We are willing to sacrifice truth and righteousness for worldly treasures that have no value.

Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.

The truth is the truth.  John and Christ are justified.  The truth will be seen by all someday.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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