December 15, 2021

December 15, 2021

December 15, 2021

Jim Hager
Three Rivers District
Piney Flats UMC

 Luke 7:31-32

31 Jesus went on to say, “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like?
32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each another. “’We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.’”


Jesus asks a profound question, “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation?”
Is this not the same question we find ourselves pondering in today’s world?  In the search to reach a satisfactory answer, we find ourselves inundated with detailed opinions, reports, statistics, and other sundry answers. Between poles-apart opinionated television channels and ever-present social media influencers, maybe there is no clear answer.
On the other hand, perhaps we are out of touch with modern reality.  Does something within our living limit our comprehension?  Do we understand the titles applied to others or to ourselves?  Are we Religious?  Nones?  Affiliated or Unaffiliated?  Do we belong to generation X, Y, Z, or even Boomer?
It can be confusing.  So, we return to Jesus question.  We need to remember that Jesus’s question reflects Verse 30 “... the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God's purpose for themselves.” He appears appalled by this resistance and the seeming rejection of God by the emphasis of “self” as having greater importance. Cutting through all the identity adjectives and the plethora of answers we face today, Jesus most certainly would ask the same question: “To what then should I compare the people of this generation?”
What does the answer we find in verse 32 suggest?  Some have suggested that this is to be understood as an illustration of children shouting across the market square.  However, when I turned to Matthew Henry’s commentary, I found a different take. Originally written in 1706, Henry’s six volume Complete Commentary provides an exhaustive look at every verse in the Bible. I found amongst his gems, this apt commentary on this passage which I would leave with you:
“"Whereunto shall I liken the men of this generation? What can I think of absurd enough to represent them by? (Luke 7:32) They are, then, like children sitting in the marketplace, that mind nothing that is serious, but are as full of play as they can hold. As if God were but in jest with them, in all the methods he takes to do them good, as children are with one another in the marketplace, they turn it all off with a banter, and are not more affected with it than with a piece of pageantry." This is the ruin of multitudes; they can never persuade themselves to be serious in the concerns of their souls. Old men, sitting in the Sanhedrim, were but as children sitting in the marketplace, and no more affected with the things that belonged to their everlasting peace than people are with children's play. O the amazing stupidity and vanity of the blind and ungodly world! The Lord awaken them out of their security.”


Lord God, Creator of all things, we thank you for the gift of life and the precious truth that You have poured into all our hearts. Above all labels, we identify with You and the message of unconditional Love expressed in the presence of Jesus Christ. Help strengthen us so that we effectively and humbly communicate to others our devotion to you by the example of our behavior; how we live and how we love one another. May our example foster choices that reveal the reward of eternal life.