Isn’t it funny that we are constantly unsatisfied?
When it’s hot we want it to be cold.
When it’s cold we want it to be hot.
When you are younger you want to be older.
When you are older you want to be younger.
It seems to be a never-ending cycle of dissatisfaction.
And it’s not different in our churches.
Luke 7:33-35 You can’t win with this generation. John the Baptist comes along, fasting and abstaining from wine, and you say, “This guy is demon-possessed!” The Son of Man comes along, feasting and drinking wine, and you say, “This guy is a glutton and a drunk, a friend of scoundrels and tax collectors!” Well, wisdom’s true children know wisdom when they hear it.
You can kind of hear Jesus frustration. Maybe his thought was, “would you pick a side and stick with it”? But I think Jesus is trying to show one of the realities of the human condition – we are never satisfied. And I’m not sure it has changed even in our churches.
Method or Message
Luke 7:34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say,
‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’
Jesus lived the way he did because he came to show that he was for those who were outcast and
eating with them was how he showed them that he cared for them.
Matthew 3:4 Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist,
and his food was locusts and wild honey.
John was trying to show that religion that not have to be so flashy and only accessible to a
certain elite group as the Pharisees had made it.
As Jesus followers too many times we get hung up on the methods and ignore the heart behind it. And just to be clear, Jesus was neither a glutton or a drunk because these are two sinful acts. I just think that it was no different from now, in how people will object to anything that looks different from the way they expect it should be. A modern example for us is what translation of the bible we use. People will argue about what translation should be used and if you are not using the one they think you should be using, they will not even come to your church.
I’m not saying that we begin to accept everyone method that comes along. What I am saying is we don’t need to be so quick to make a judgment on how they share the Gospel. In contrast to the flashiness of the Pharisees, John went to the side of strictness in order not to distract people from the message. Jesus was not so strict because He wanted people to see that their salvation didn’t depend on their performance but instead on the relationship they had with God.
Not either or, but both and
There are some, though, that will not be distracted by their method. John’s method of strictness and Jesus method of laxity. John as one who lived on the bare minimum, living in the desert, wearing a garment of camel’s hair and eating locusts and wild honey. Jesus as one who lived mingling with people in places that normally involved some type of food and drink.
Jesus says that wisdom’s true children know wisdom when they hear it. In other words, they will look beyond the methods and search out the message. John and Jesus’ message was the same – the Kingdom of God is at hand. But the way they connected to people and presented the message was different.