23 March 2010
Jesus Commends John the Baptist - Pt. 2
‘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!’ Nevertheless, wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”
Not every prophet acts alike. As Jesus points out, John the Baptist was very simple. He lived in the wilderness. He ate bugs. He must have looked like a bit of a nutter. Jesus, on the other hand, went from city to city. He ate the same things that people served him as he went into their homes. He celebrated with people. He probably looked quite plain and ordinary as Isaiah prophesied.
The only thing that any true prophet has in common is they all speak the truth from God. Prophets were sometimes used by God to speak to people. Sometimes their words are heeded, but more often the Word of God is ignored and derided. People who ignore what a prophet has to say brings up excuses as to why they should be ignored. "He has a demon." "Look, a glutton and a drunkard." As Jesus points out, these are just excuses masking the real reason neither the words of John the Baptist nor Jesus were heeded by, in particular, the religious class.
They were not willing to accept the Word of God. They did not want to listen to anything that would not mesh with what they already believed to be true. John had integrity? So what? Jesus is performing healings that we have never seen before? So what? I know what is right and what I believe!
What if God clearly comes to be speaking truth but I do not want to listen because it is too hard to accept? It will cost too much? Is this wise? God is truth. God is wisdom. When God speaks, we ignore him at our peril. "Did God really say....?" is the oldest deception in the world.
Jesus consistently says that by their fruit we will know them. You don't just listen to what people say. People can say anything. You look at their fruit. Are they wise? Children of wisdom give glory to God. What does the fruit from wise "trees" look like? What does a life that listens to the words of John the Baptist and Jesus look like? Let's keep reading the Words of God and find out...