Bible Society of South Africa

Deaf generation – 24 March 2022

By Xanthe Hancox

Bible text(s)

16“Now, to what can I compare the people of this day? They are like children sitting in the market place. One group shouts to the other, 17‘We played wedding music for you, but you wouldn't dance! We sang funeral songs, but you wouldn't cry!’

Matthew 11:16-17GNBOpen in Bible reader

There are so many voices trying to get our attention, time, and money that sometimes we just tune out and ignore them. We even become deaf to God’s words, choosing to rather focus on things that seem more urgent or important.

In today’s parable, Jesus talks about children who try to involve others in a game. First they play as if they’re in a wedding, with some playing flutes while others joyfully dance. But no one wants to play along. Then they act out a funeral by singing a dirge to create an atmosphere of mourning. But again no one participates.

Jesus uses this parable to show his audience that their generation is lethargic, sluggish, apathetic, uninvolved. John the Baptist proclaimed a thunderous message of the coming judgment, but few listened. Jesus amazed the crowds with miracles, displays of grace and mercy of God, but most people refused to join in the kingdom dance of discipleship.

The generation of God’s people who witnessed this chapter of salvation history wanted neither John’s call to repentance nor Jesus’ message of grace. They rejected both messages, even though both witnessed to the same truth – Jesus is the Son of God!

Would Jesus need to recite the same parable to us today? Are we so caught up in our own pursuits that we cannot see the advancement of God’s kingdom? With Jesus’ help, we can overcome apathy and focus on what truly matters.

Prayer: Lord, we hear your lament. Help us to be attentive to your voice in our everyday lives. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.8
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