Luke 7:31-35

Luke 7:31 (KJB)
And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like?

The Jewish leaders did not accept the ministry of John or Jesus. This was well seen in the reactions of the scribes and Pharisees throughout the short ministry of John and the longer ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were so wrapped up in their traditions and man-made doctrines that they did not see truth when it stood right in front of them. Then Jesus begins to make a comparison and asks the people to what should He compare the men of this generation? What are they like or how would you describe them?

Luke 7:32 (KJB)
They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.

Jesus characterizes them as foolish children. It seems that no matter what was preached or taught, they had rejected. It was like them playing a happy tune where everybody else was dancing but chose to sit on the side and not dance. Then on the other end of the spectrum, they played a sad song where people were mourning, and the leaders were indifferent and did not mourn. Basically, you could say this was a music of a wedding where people would be joyous and the leaders refused to be happy or join in the happiness of the couple. Then the sad music could be a funeral where the leaders would not mourn nor would they commiserate with the family. No matter what was preached, Heaven or hell, it did not move them because they were that spiritually dead.

Luke 7:33 (KJB)
For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.

John the Baptist had all the markings of having an Old Testament Nazarite’s holy devotion to God. John did not eat like a glutton nor did he touch any type of wine or strong drink, and even though his lifestyle showed that he was obedient to the Lord, he was still accused of being possessed by a devil. John was a man of godly character in contrast to the evil lifestyles of the religious leaders. Instead of them doing self-inspection into their lives, they instead justified themselves and made false accusations against John. John came with one task in mind and that was to be the one who introduced the Messiah to Israel. John was not all enamored with the world.

Luke 7:34 (KJB)
The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!

Jesus came with a sympathetic heart and He showed how much He cared for the common people. This is why He was always invited to someone’s home or for a meal. Jesus was chided by the Pharisees for attending a banquet at the home of Matthew, the former publican, claiming that He eats with sinners. John was the one who brought the message of repentance and damnation. Jesus brought the Gospel of grace and the love of God to the people and for this, He was rejected by the leaders. So it did not matter what was preached in truth, repentance or love, the religious leaders rejected it. Jesus, like John, was also falsely accused as being a glutton and a winebibber. A winebibber was a person who drank much wine. Today we would call them a “wino.” A wino is one who is addicted to drinking wine. They also accused Him of being a friend of publicans and sinners, implying that He Himself joined in their evil deeds and gave approbation to their lifestyles.

Luke 7:35 (KJB)
But wisdom is justified of all her children.

Then Jesus states that wisdom is justified of her children. Children are a direct issue from the parents and that means true wisdom is justified by her children or the direct results. The world may believe that the wisdom of God looks odd, but nevertheless when the final analysis is made, one cannot argue with the wisdom of God because it accomplishes what God sets it out to do, despite the unbelieving world and their non-understanding. What the Pharisees failed to see was that Jesus changed the sinners, He was not changed by them, a very important principle when witnessing in the midst of rank sinners.