Jesus & John the Baptist
“How shall I describe this generation? These people are like a group of children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends, ‘We played wedding songs, and your weren’t happy, so we played funeral songs, but you weren’t sad.’ For John the Baptist didn’t drink wine and he often fasted, and you say, ‘He’s demon possessed.’ And I, the Son of Man, feast and drink and you say, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of the worst sort of sinners!’ But wisdom is shown to be right by what results from it.” (Matthew 11:16-19 NLT).
Jesus & John the Baptist were two great people of their time. Still, they were very different. John lived in the wilderness near the Jordan River. He lived away from people, and the people came out to the wilderness to see him. Jesus was a man of the people. He traveled from town to town sharing the good news. John the Baptist was known as a faster and an abstainer. Jesus went to weddings with food and wine. He joined in their festivities. Jesus and John were godly men. The complainers could still find something bad to say about them. They claimed John was crazy because he was such a hermit. They claimed Jesus was just a partier because of what he did and whom he spent time with. Contrast the complainers with God. God was pleased with both Jesus and John in his kingdom. He had room for their differing styles to promote his kingdom among the people.
What about you? Are you more like the complainers or more like God? Are you able to find something to complain about no matter how good the circumstances? Or are you broad enough to have different styles of people who encourage you to walk with the Lord? This is where our conversation gets tough. If we are honest, we all have times where we are gifted at finding something to complain about. Be honest with yourself in these settings. Remind yourself, “I am being like one of the complainers in Jesus day.” Grow to be more like God. Be able to be influenced, encouraged, and motivated by all kinds of people. God had room for Jesus and John in his kingdom. He makes room for you and I. Rather than run everybody down who is not like you. Give them a chance. That person might be the next John the Baptist of our day. God has room in his kingdom for that person. So should you.
Written by Jimmy Hodges