People of This Generation


Luke 7:31-35

“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.”


Here Dr. Luke is lamenting the ways in which the people of his generation behave. They are like people who have all the entertainment in the world and yet, refuse to enjoy it or participate. They are like people who go to funerals and yet, fail to grieve. In other words, they have everything of life happening around them and yet, somehow they are completely disconnected and cannot see truth.

They couldn’t see John the Baptist for who he really was. Instead of being seen as a man of God, they interpreted his behavior as demonic. At the same time they couldn’t comprehend Jesus either. They complained that he ate and drank with the sinners! 

But who was it that bore spiritual children? It wasn’t the religious leaders, but it was John the Baptist and Jesus. The people of this generation simply could not see beyond their own reality into the truth of Christ. 


Somehow we’ve come to believe that the people of this generation, our generation, are different from those who have gone before. If that’s true, then we are confused. For years religious people have had the opportunity to know the truth of who Jesus is. We’ve been provided with every benefit of being a part of the church with years of sermons and Sunday school and Bible lessons. Along the way we adopted certain behaviors that we thought made us more spiritual, but maybe they just made us more religious. 

What would happen if the church were bearing spiritual children? The reality is that the people of this generation still might not understand and they may be extremely disappointed that there are no big productions, or programs. In the midst of these, however, people remain unmoved. It’s not the song and dance that changes lives. But maybe there is something about living the holy life, following the traditions of John and Jesus. Or maybe we need to embrace eating with sinners and tax collectors. That’s when the criticism will become very real and the follower of Christ will be accused by the “good” religious folks of not doing the right things. 

The Scripture tells us that “wisdom is vindicated by all her children.” Where is the spiritual fruit? This is the real question. Following Jesus means that we may not always “appear” religious and some will accuse us of being in the wrong place. But just maybe, that’s where Jesus would have us to go and minister in his name. 

This generation may accuse us of doing the wrong things but following Jesus means we are compelled to go and bear fruit. The generations haven’t really changed, and nor has Jesus. His actions are timeless and challenge us to live in imitation of Christ in all things. 


Lord, please give me the courage to live like you. Amen. 


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