[Talking to the crowds, Jesus concluded the things he said about John the Baptist:] "To what can I compare this generation? It is like children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends,
'We played wedding songs,
and you didn't dance,
so we played funeral songs,
and you didn't mourn.'
For John didn't spend his time eating and drinking, and you say, 'He's possessed by a demon.' The Son of Man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, 'He's a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!' But wisdom is shown to be right by its results."
— Matthew 11:16-19 NLT
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 pointed to who they were. Prophecy was being fulfilled. But the people of that generation did not recognize Jesus and John. Even though their ministries were at opposite extremes in terms of some of the things they did, 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? Study what he did and taught, and then 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!
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 his name, I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- 1 Corinthians 1:18-24
- Matthew 9:10-13
Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Sunday, May 23, 2021
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.