16 “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.”

Matt 11:16-19 (NIV)

Here Christ gives a reproach to the hearers of His generation who had been privy to have been exposed to the Baptist, Himself and His apostles yet continued on vainly in their unbelief and obstinacy. They were cynical and skeptical because their comfortable, secure and self-centered lives had been challenged. This proves a heads up for our generation as well. Oftentimes when our habits or lifestyles needs changing and we are confronted by Truth we bow up becoming hard to deal with in lieu of weighing the truth of the Word against our lives, embracing it and changing through the Spirit’s power. Have we been exposed to the teaching of the Truth, enjoyed the fellowship with the saints, been encouraged by Christ and yet remain unmoved and unchanged? It is good to be reminded that we are held accountable to what we have heard and experienced. The words Paul penned in 2 Corinthians - encouraging his listeners towards a saving faith –come to mind. There is simply no time like the present to experience God’s favor and salvation:

20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Cor 5:20-21 (NIV)

1 As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. 2 For he says,
“In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation. 2 Cor 6:1-2 (NIV)

“Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off.” Max Lucado

“If you are to be God’s for ever, be his today.” Charles H. Spurgeon

It is both kind and interesting that God offers various methods in the conversion of sinners yet sadly so often are fruitless. It is His desire for none to perish but all to come to repentance. It remains some comfort to faithful ministers that it is no new thing when they see little success of their labors. Even the best preaching in the world comes up short of the desired end.

“Now if people will neither be awakened by the greatest things, nor allured by the sweetest things, nor startled by the most terrible things, nor be made aware by the plainest things; if they will listen to the voice neither of scripture, nor reason, nor experience, nor providence, nor conscience, nor interest, what more can be done?” Matthew Henry

Our Lord compares those refusing to believe as being as foolish, mindless and playful as children in lieu of showing themselves as a people of understanding and reason. If we would but play out the unbelieving lifestyle – all the way to the end – taking into consideration all the ramifications and consequences that are sure to follow, I dare say we would be less likely to pursue this thorny path. The world’s apple is enticing - to be sure - but we must remember it is laden with poison. Every sin carries with it a death sentence - death to relationship, death to trust, death to reputation, etc. How far better to learn this lesson in the class room rather than on a field trip! Jesus came to offer us life so that we will no longer have to remain in bondage to the sin nature rather to the life giving Spirit. Scripture tells us the mind controlled by the sinful nature is death but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. Wisdom, Jesus states, is proved right by her actions. Sounds like a no-brainer to me!

“The soundtrack for misery always is ‘I did it My Way.’ Complete abdication to Christ is the only way to complete liberation.” Ann Voskamp

5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. Romans 8:5-8 (NIV)

165 Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. Psalms 119:165 (NIV)

What I Glean

  • Jesus gives out a reproach to those who hear His Word and do not receive it yet He faithfully embraces those who willingly turn to Him. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-- John 1:10-12 (NIV)
  • The time for salvation is now.
  • Christ came to set me free from the bondage of sin and self.