Matthew 11:16–19 (ESV)
Messengers from John the Baptist
16 “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates,
“ ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’
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 at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’
Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”
I must admit that verse 17 is not the easiest verse to understand. Jesus is a tough critic and many did not want to hear him. When he says “We
played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn,” he is saying that children do not want to play happy or sad songs or games. In fact, it was not the little kids
that didn’t want to hear him, it was the Children of Israel. The Lutheran Study Bible states: People commonly experience disappointment because of false or unfulfilled expectations. We hope God will act in a certain way, but He does not.
We then wonder why. To guard against false expectations, focus on Jesus and on what He has said and done. He is the fulfillment of all our hopes. “All the promises of God find their Yes in Him” (2Co 1:20).
I pray: Lord Jesus, when I struggle with doubts and unfulfilled hopes, remind me of Your words and works that assure me of Your saving love. Amen.