OK, the Parables sermon series is over, but I can’t help but write about one more parable. And it is really more like a riddle – so it doesn’t count, right?
“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.’ “ (Matthew 11:16-17)
In Matthew 11 Jesus is speaking about John the Baptist, His cousin and a prophet of God. Jesus says that John is more than a prophet – John is the Messenger who prepares the way of the Lord. But not many people accepted his message – it was pretty harsh and dour! Jesus did the opposite – feasting and celebrating – and the people also rejected Him and called Him a drunkard.
In the riddle, the “generation” is not like the children. Jesus and John are the children – trying to get their friends to play along. They try to sing a sad song but their friends won’t join in. They try to dance to a wedding song but their friends just won’t participate. God has tried everything to get His people to walk with Him.
What does this mean for us?
- There are times to mourn and weep for what breaks the heart of God. We need to read the prophets and the hard words of Jesus. We need to think about the message that John the Baptist gave, and repent of the selfishness and pride inside of ourselves.
- There are times to DANCE! Jesus ate with people and loved to celebrate! We need to join the dance in our hearts. We also need to be able to LITERALLY DANCE with our feet. May we not become like the generation who knew the name of the Lord but forgot how to join His dance.
In your own life, I hope you can dance. I hope you can dance in your car, in the shower (be careful), in your house, with your friends. I hope you can dance at church – God loves it! I love being able to challenge people to see the JOY of God – which is so much bigger than we imagine.
Follow the steps of Jesus – and dance!