“To what then should I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to one another,
‘We played the flute for you, yet you did not dance;
we wailed in mourning, yet you did not weep.’
For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon!’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him, a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”
I read once from someone (I can’t remember who now), that after a person had been a believer for more than 5 years, they should be reading the Gospels from the perspective of the Pharisees. It’s the natural human tendency I guess, to eventually get to a place spiritually where we feel that we got there by our own power.
I used to read this passage a certain way.
I used to think, “yeah, what a terrible generation, they didn’t get Jesus! They whined about John the Baptist being one way, and then Jesus comes on the scene and they whine about all the opposite things! What a bunch of hypocrites!
But today I began to realize how much like them I am.
And how unlike Jesus I am.
I always want to make him into something he isn’t.
Sometimes I want to make him into a Pharisee, with strict laws and traditions outside the Bible about what people should or shouldn’t do.
Sometimes I want him to be an Essene, to separate from the corrupted world and never engage it, let God judge them.
Sometimes I want to make him out to be a Zealot, who overthrows the kingdoms of this world through violence and power.
and the list goes on.
Today I want to start seeing Jesus for who he is even clearer. I don’t want ‘Jesus plus anything’ as C.S. Lewis puts it in Mere Christianity.
I want to try to unmask the Jesus I’ve made up in my own image of what I want him to be.
I want to see Jesus for who he is.
Simply Jesus (as N.T. Wright puts it.)
My prayer is summed up pretty well in this song: