THE PARABLES OF JESUS

The Sulking Children

Scripture reading: Luke 7: 31-35

31 "To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the market place and calling to one another, `We piped to you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not weep.' 33 For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine; and you say, `He has a demon.' 34 The Son of man has come eating and drinking; and you say, `Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' 35 Yet wisdom is justified by all her children."

Meditation: What do childrens' games have to do with the kingdom of God?  The children in Jesus' parable react with disappoint because they cannot induce anyone to join in their musical medley.  They complain that if they play their music at weddings, no one will dance or sing; and if they play at funerals, it is the same.  This refrain echoes the words of Ecclesiastes 3:4 -- there is a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance. Jesus' message of the kingdom of God is a proclamation of good news and of great joy for those who will listen; but it is also a warning for those who refuse.  Why did the message of John the Baptist and the message of Jesus meet with resistance and deaf ears?  It was out of jealously and spiritual blindness that the scribes and Pharisees attributed John the Baptist's austerities to the devil and they attributed Jesus' table fellowship as evidence for messianic pretense. They succeeded in frustrating God's plan for their lives because they had closed their hearts to the message of  John the Baptist and now to Jesus. What can make us spiritually dull and slow to hear God's voice?  Like the generation of Jesus' time, our age is marked by indifference and contempt, especially in regards to the things of heaven.  Indifference dulls our ears to God's voice and to the good news of the gospel.   Only the humble of heart can find joy in God's grace and favor. Do you know the joy of the gospel?

"Lord, open my ears to hear the good news of your kingdom and set my heart free to love and serve you joyfully.  May nothing keep me from following you wholeheartedly."


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(c) 1998, 2002 Don Schwager