16 “But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, 17 and saying:

‘We played the flute for you,
    And you did not dance;
We mourned to you,
    And you did not lament.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.”

Matthew 11:16-18

In context of Matthew chapter 11

Matthew 11 New King James Version (NKJV)

John the Baptist Sends Messengers to Jesus

11 Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities.

And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of[a]his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”

Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. 10 For this is he of whom it is written:

‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You.’[b]

11 “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

16 “But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, 17 and saying:

‘We played the flute for you,
    And you did not dance;
We mourned to you,
    And you did not lament.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.”[c]

Woe to the Impenitent Cities

20 Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be[d] brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.”

Jesus Gives True Rest

25 At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. 26 Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.27 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the oneto whom the Son wills to reveal Him. 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Introduction

In this series we’ve examined the teachings of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount and now we’re examining the teachings and actions of Jesus throughout the New Testament of the Holy Bible.

Since we examined the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 at the beginning of this series, we’re now going through Matthew and are up to Matthew chapter 11.

16 “But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, 17 and saying:

‘We played the flute for you,
    And you did not dance;
We mourned to you,
    And you did not lament.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.”

Matthew 11:16-18

 

16 “But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, 17 and saying:

‘We played the flute for you,
    And you did not dance;
We mourned to you,
    And you did not lament.’

It seems like things haven’t changed since Jesus time. When we observe people all over the world playing with their lives, living frivolously and decadently, and behaving as if there is no tomorrow, we realise that things are the same.

It’s good to constantly recognise this reality, and not be drawn into the tides of wanton humanity all around us.

The wanton wilful world wants to know why we don’t join them.

‘We played the flute for you,
    And you did not dance;
We mourned to you,
    And you did not lament.’

People say “Oh, you used to be the life of the party before you became a Christian but now you don’t even want to come to our (drunken) festivities”.

 

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.”

It is probable that, like Samuel, John the Baptist had taken the vow of a Nazarite from birth, and he practiced fasting, abstinence from alcohol and lived on wild honey and locusts, in remote places.

There are those who claim the Bible is fictitious and it’s accounts contain myths. Below is a historical record of John the Baptist in the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus’ ‘Antiquities of the Jews’.

“In Josephus’s Antiquities of the Jews

An account of John the Baptist is found in all extant manuscripts of the Antiquities of the Jews (book 18, chapter 5, 2) by Flavius Josephus (37–100):

Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod’s army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist: for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews irate, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away [or the remission] of some sins [only], but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness. Now when [many] others came in crowds about him, for they were very greatly moved [or pleased] by hearing his words, Herod, who feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put it into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion, (for they seemed ready to do any thing he should advise,) thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause, and not bring himself into difficulties, by sparing a man who might make him repent of it when it would be too late. Accordingly he was sent a prisoner, out of Herod’s suspicious temper, to Macherus, the castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death. Now the Jews had an opinion that the destruction of this army was sent as a punishment upon Herod, and a mark of God’s displeasure to him.”

 

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.”

Jesus, referring to himself as ‘The Son of Man’, said he came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.”

Jesus practiced fasting, abstinence, nights of prayer and the greatest devotion to God, as an example to us, among other things.

The drink Jesus was referring to was wine, and it was alcoholic wine. Wine is a natural and normal drink in the Mediterranean and Middle East. Generally, alcohol is not abused like in Western Countries.

Wine would not have lasted in the hot Middle Eastern climate, in the ancient world where there was no refrigeration, without being sealed in skins and allowed to mature and ferment.

Jesus would have drunken wine in moderation and would not have participated in any form of drunken partying.

Nor were Jesus and the Apostle Paul, both single men all their lives, homosexual like the Christian gays would like to think. Jesus is the Son of God and Son of Man and he is pure and holy.

Homosexuals were stoned to death in Israel in the the time of Christ. The ‘women caught in adultery’ is New Testament historical evidence of the practice of stoning to death those who broke various Old Testament laws, in the time of Christ.

Drinking alcoholic drinks is acceptable to a New Testament Protestant Christian, however as the Apostle Paul repeatedly emphasises, we should practice moderation, and not “be drunk with wine”

And if ‘our brother’, relative or friend has issues with alcohol, we should be circumspect not to lead them astray. It’s all about wisdom and moderation, not legalism in the New Testament.

 

“But wisdom is justified by her children”

Jesus is saying, “Look at the fruits of a ministry”, to see whether it is of God.

This is a recurrent theme of my writings on this, my personal blog-site.

What are “the fruits” of this or that Christian ministry? What are the fruits of “a great man or woman” who claims they are God’s great person of the hour? Are they good or are they rotten?

Jesus was saying to look at the fruits of His ministry: the disciples He was producing, the acts of kindness and compassion, the demons He was casting out and the sick folks He healed.