But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.Matthew 11:16-19
But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept. For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! But wisdom is justified of all her children.Luke 7:30-35
Jesus, having given strong testimony about the character of John the Baptist, now turns to those who neither believed John nor Jesus. This strong rebuke would almost seem “un-Christian” in today’s church culture but we must realize this was Jesus talking so it cannot be wrong!
Jesus says those that abide in unbelief are like children playing church. They go through the motions and ceremonies but there is no depth nor truth to their “worship.” Another way of looking at this would be that the truth came in such a simple way and yet they still did not believe!
Whichever way you look at it, the evidence of their hard-hearted unbelief is that they rejected John and said he was possessed. Now, they have rejected Jesus and called Him a fat drunkard who hangs out with the wrong crowd.
The truth is that it would not matter how the gospel came to them. They were going to reject it. They were going to reject any minister that would come. They even rejected the Son of God when He came. Why? Because they had no interest in truly hearing from God!
Jesus speaks of this generation, but I don’t think He was speaking to just those unbelievers during His ministry. This rebuke is toward any that would abide in unbelief despite all the evidences given to them. So many “churches” have fallen into this pattern. They put on a show of Christianity but have already decided they prefer the philosophies of man and entertainment over the true word of God.
Wisdom is justified of her children. Jesus plainly says that there are some who truly do love God and want to hear from Him. They seek out truth. And even though they are sometimes errant in their ways, they are not interested in just playing church. They truly want to glorify God in their worship.