What Jesus Did! 'Won't Believe' — Matthew 11:16-19

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

"What can I say about the people that live today? What are they like? The people today are like children sitting in the market place. One group of children calls to the other group, 'We played flute music for you, but you did not dance; we sang a sad song, but you were not sad.' {Why do I say people are like that?} Because John came, and he did not eat {like other people} or drink wine. And people say, 'He has a demon inside him.' The Son of Man came eating {like other people} and drinking wine, and people say, 'Look at him! He eats too much and drinks too much wine. He is a friend of tax collectors and other bad people.' But wisdom is shown to be right by the things it does."
— Matthew 11:16-19
Illustration of Matthew 11:16-19 — "What can I say about the people that live today?"

Key Thought

Would we have recognized the Messiah if we had been there with him? Would we have recognized John as the "new" Elijah? All the signs point to who they were. Prophecy is being fulfilled. But the people of that generation did not recognize them. Even though their ministries were at opposite extremes, neither was accepted as genuine by the religious leaders. Truth in all its forms is often less regarded than the lie told to meet the wishes of those who hear. We often prefer to be deceived rather than to face a difficult reality that requires us to change. So, what must we do to recognize Jesus? Follow him, live our lives for him, change our lives to obey his commandments, share his grace to all, and give him glory—not a bad start but a very challenging message. No wonder so many didn't (and still don't) really want to know the will of the Messiah!

Today's Prayer

Lord God Almighty, give me eyes to see your work in my world today. Use me to advance your work and defeat me when I go astray. Please remove deception from my heart and help me change to be more like your Son. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus finished telling these things to his twelve followers. Then Jesus left there and went to the towns in Galilee to teach the people and tell them {about God}. John the Baptizer was in prison. He heard about the things Christ was doing. So John sent some of his followers to Jesus. John's followers asked Jesus, "Are you the man that {John said} was coming, or should we wait for another man?" Jesus answered, "Go back to John and tell him about the things that you hear and see: Blind people are able to see again; crippled people are able to walk again; people that have leprosy are healed; deaf people can hear again; dead people are raised from death; and the Good News is told to the poor people. The person that can accept me is blessed." While John's followers were leaving, Jesus began talking to the people about John. Jesus said, "What did you people go out to the desert to see? A weed blown by the wind? No! Really, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No! Those people that wear fine clothes live in king's palaces. So what did you go out to see? A prophet ? Yes, and I tell you, John is more than a prophet. This Scripture was written about John: 'Listen! I (God) will send my helper ahead of you. He will prepare the way for you.' I tell you the truth: John the Baptizer is greater than any man that has ever lived. But even the least important person in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John. Since the time John the Baptizer came until now, the kingdom of heaven has been going forward strongly. People using force have been trying to get the kingdom. All the prophets and the law {of Moses} spoke until the time John came. They told about the things that would happen. And if you will believe the things the law and the prophets said, then you will believe that John is Elijah. The law and the prophets said he would come. You people that hear me, listen! "What can I say about the people that live today? What are they like? The people today are likechildren sitting in the market place. One group of children calls to the other group, 'We played flute music for you, but you did not dance; we sang a sad song, but you were not sad.' {Why do I say people are like that?} Because John came, and he did not eat {like other people} or drink wine. And people say, 'He has a demon inside him.' The Son of Man came eating {like other people} and drinking wine, and people say, 'Look at him! He eats too much and drinks too much wine. He is a friend of tax collectors and other bad people.' But wisdom is shown to be right by the things it does."

Matthew 11:1-19

Related Scripture Readings

The teaching about the cross seems foolish to those people that are lost. But to us who are being saved it is the power of God. Like the Scriptures say, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise people. I will confuse the understanding of the intelligent people." Where is the wise person? Where is the educated person? Where is the philosopher of this time? God has made the wisdom of the world foolish. This is what God with his wisdom wanted: The world did not know God through the world's own wisdom. So God used the message that sounds foolish to save the people that believe it. The Jews ask for miracles as proofs. The Greeks want wisdom. But this is the message we tell everyone: Christ was killed on a cross. This message is a big problem to the Jews. And the non-Jews think it is foolish. But Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God to those people that God has called (chosen)—Jews and Greeks (non-Jews).

1 Corinthians 1:18-24

Jesus ate dinner at Matthew's house. Many tax collectors and other bad people came and ate with Jesus and his followers. The Pharisees saw that Jesus was eating with these people. The Pharisees asked Jesus' followers, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and other bad people?" Jesus heard the Pharisees say this. So Jesus said to the Pharisees, "Healthy people don't need a doctor. It is the sick people that need a doctor. I will tell you something. Go and learn what it means: 'I don't want animal sacrifices; I want you to show kindness to people.' I did not come to invite good people. I came to invite sinners."

Matthew 9:10-13

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.