Luke 7:31-34 “To what can I compare the people of this generation?” Jesus asked. “How can I describe them? They are like children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends,
“We played wedding songs,
and you didn’t dance,
so we played funeral songs,
and you didn’t weep.”
For John the Baptist didn’t spend his time eating and drinking wine, and you say, ‘He’s possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners! But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it.
My thoughts: John the Baptist delivered a message of repentance to prepare the way for the redemption Jesus would bring. Israel was saying “John, why aren’t you dancing to the wedding songs as we celebrate in our complacency and compromise by eating and drinking wine?” Many of the First Century Jewish men and women (along with the religious leaders) were content with being “descendants of Abraham”, not people in surrender to God. John put them in their place and told them that being a descendant of Abraham meant nothing (Luke 3:8).
John was the only Old Covenant prophet who got a glimpse of the New Covenant. That’s why Jesus says “I tell you, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of God is greater than he is!” (Luke 7:28) John prepared the way for the grand entrance of Jesus, who would ultimately establish the New Covenant. This is what made him “much more than a prophet” (Matthew 11:7)
When Jesus came, He didn’t weep with the funeral songs of sin and death that came from the Old Covenant. Instead, He established a New Covenant led by the Spirit that brings life! (Galatians 3:6). I believe the weeping also came from the message of repentance that John the Baptist delivered. His message was the first step in preparing the way for Jesus, just as when we repent, we open up our lives for His invasion.
The Jewish religious leaders had it in mind that repentance and holiness was achieved by separating themselves from the “heathens”. They were trying to reach New Covenant people with an Old Covenant mindset. Jesus’ ministry completely contradicted what the religious leaders of His day were trying to accomplish. I can just hear them saying “Why aren’t you weeping, Jesus? How can you be feasting with the sinners during such a time as this?” Jesus’ wisdom was proved right by the many people who followed Him and experienced life! He brought something greater than what the Jewish people had ever experienced.
The problem with my generation today is that we love the hype of wedding songs, yet won’t weep over our sins with repentance and receive God’s life-giving power. Nothing is kept sacred to us. Today, God is looking for a remnant of believers who refuse to dance with the wedding songs of their culture. He is searching for men and women who pursue His life giving power instead of living in sorrow. We are living in the greatest era of mankind. What will we allow the Holy Spirit do through us in this life empowering New Covenant?