At the beginning of this football season, Patrick Mahomes was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Now that the Chiefs have gotten off to a rocky start, some fans have a petition to put him on the bench in favor of his backup.
This illustrates a truth about professional sports. To the fans everything is “what have you done for me lately?”
A player can go from the greatest to a goat (not “greatest of all time”) in a few short weeks.
Jesus, John, and Their Critics
Jesus and John experienced the “what have you done for me” mentality. Here is how Jesus confronted their critics.
— Luke 7.31-34 – “To what then will I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another,
‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we wailed, and 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, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’
Sports fans and critics of the Savior have something in common. They are like children who can’t be pleased.
Jesus asked the audience to envision whining children who get angry with their playmates, because they don’t play the game to their liking.
Jesus and John couldn’t win. The religious authorities claimed John was too strict and Jesus was too free.
They thought that John’s behavior in the desert was so strict and strange that he had a demon.
They labeled Jesus as a “glutton and a drunkard,” because he attended banquets with tax collectors and associated with marginal people.
God’s Wisdom in Action
Jesus concluded his dialogue with the religious leaders and said, “Nevertheless, wisdom is vindicated by all her children” (Luke 7.35).
The Gospel of Luke reads like a parade of persons who came into contact with Jesus and followed him to the cross, resurrection, Ascension, and giving of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.
— Chapter 4 introduces readers to persons who were freed from demons and illness.
— Chapters 5 and 6 name the disciples were with Jesus from the beginning.
A leper, a paralytic, and a tax collector experience God’s wisdom and become children of the kingdom of God.
— Chapter 7 includes a Roman centurion and a widow from the town of Nain, who both certainly never forgot their encounter with Jesus.
— Chapter 7 ends with a beautiful story of a sinful woman who found forgiveness and expressed love to Jesus.
As you read the Gospel of Luke, pay attention to all of the people who follow Jesus. It is very possible that this crowd followed Jesus throughout his entire ministry and became the foundation of the first church.
The joy of following Jesus is that we will have the journey of a lifetime and an incredible eternity.
Please take a few minutes to watch the video that Rudy Ross and I have produced on this passage. Rudy adds some excellent insights that you won’t want to miss.
The video is on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
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