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This Generation

To what then will 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 wailed, 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, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!” Nevertheless, wisdom is vindicated by all her children. Luke 7:31-35 NIV

Today’s message is an example of how the Bible remains timeless. Jesus, in speaking about the people of His generation, could well be talking about our generation–whether we’re Boomers, Alphas, or any of those in between. When it comes to understanding God, many don’t know what we want. 

Before this passage, John the Baptist had sent disciples to question Jesus about His identity. Jesus responded by affirming that John was a prophet who fulfilled the prophecies of Isaiah and Malachi, whose mission was to make way for the Messiah. The crowd witnessed Jesus' miraculous healings and heard about John’s ministry but still did not believe that Jesus was the Christ.

The children in the marketplace represent the people of that time. The games they play imitate various scenarios, such as dancing to the flute’s tune or mourning to a dirge. The flute and dirge symbolize different approaches to God’s message. John came with a strict lifestyle, fasting, and a call to repentance. But some accused him of having a devil. Jesus associated with sinners ate and drank freely, and gave a message of grace. Yet, some labeled Him a glutton and a friend of sinners. The inconsistency of the children’s reactions mirrors the fickleness of the people, then and today, responses to God’s messengers. The point is that people often reject God’s message, regardless of how it’s presented. They don’t honestly know what they need or desire.

As we share the Gospel today, we encounter similar responses. Some reject it outright, regardless of the presentation. Others seek signs and wonders but miss the heart of the message. But a true understanding of God’s ways requires openness and humility. It exercises faith and opens our hearts to seek a deeper understanding and openness to God’s truth rather than relying on superficial preferences or expectations.

Heavenly Father,  we come before You with hearts open, seeking understanding and wisdom. Just as the children in the marketplace responded inconsistently to the flute and the dirge, we also waver in understanding Your ways. 

Lord, help us discern beyond the surface. May we not judge Your messengers based on our preconceptions or preferences. Teach us to see beyond the external signs and seek the heart of Your message. Grant us humility in acknowledging that our desires can be misguided and shallow. Transform our hearts to desire what truly matters—the knowledge of You and Your will. Give us Your patience as we share the Gospel. Knowing that some will reject it outright while others will seek signs. Help us respond with grace and love. Illuminate our minds, Lord. May we understand Your truth profoundly and share it with clarity. Let our words and actions reflect the consistency of Your character.

Father, we pray for the skeptic who questions that You will soften their hearts to receive Your truth. For the seeker who longs for signs, we pray that You will reveal Yourself in ways they can recognize. For those who are indifferent, may we awaken a hunger for You within them. For ourselves, God, grant us the courage to share Your message faithfully, even when faced with resistance.

In the name of Jesus the Messiah who has come, we pray. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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