Matthew 11:16-20

Mat 11:16 (KJB)
But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows,

Jesus now makes a comparison of the generation of people He was ministering to. This would have included the recalcitrant leaders of Israel who heard His message many times. They found fault with everything Jesus taught, John the Baptist taught, and later they would still be displeased when the Disciples and all the Christians would teach the Gospel to the people. So Jesus then goes on to make a comparison.

Mat 11:17 (KJB)
And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.

Here Jesus compares them to people who are totally discontent in any situation. When it speaks of “piped” it is speaking about a wind instrument such as a flute or other wind instrument. What is represented in this verse is both ends of the emotional spectrum. The parable is teaching that the leaders had heard a flute playing a tune and they would not dance to the tune. Then they heard mourning and did not lament. They were neither happy nor sad which means total discontentment. In other words, they were so spiritually dead, they were not moved either by the teachings of Heaven and the joys of salvation, nor were they moved by the teachings of hell and the eternal suffering of the lost. All they wanted was their law and the additions they made to it which bolstered their personal wealth and community status. They wanted nothing to change that and therefore they were spiritually spayed.

Mat 11:18 (KJB)
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.

Jesus than tells them plainly that John the Baptist did not come to them as one who did his ministry and then partook in gluttony and drunkenness. John did not touch one ounce of intoxicating drink and instead of feasting as the Pharisees did, John ate locusts and wild honey. In spite of the truthful, simplistic lifestyle of John, which was open to all the eyes of those who saw him, nevertheless they claimed that John was possessed of a devil. They thought him to be a madman because of the way he looked and dressed. His actions were not only misunderstood but they were viciously attacked by the leaders.

Mat 11:19 (KJB)
The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

They not only attacked John the Baptist but they also attacked the Lord Jesus Christ accusing Him of being a glutton and a drunkard. They also attacked Him for being a friend to the publicans and sinners. Of course, Jesus came to save sinners and the incident was probably the dinner that Matthew had and invited all the other tax collectors and Jesus had attended that dinner. It was there that the Pharisees had accused Jesus of being a glutton and a drunk, even though they were without one shred of evidence. 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 them, He was not changed by them, a very important principle when witnessing in the midst of rank sinners.

Mat 11:20 (KJB)
Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:

Upbraid - Scold, chide, or reproach

Then because of the way the ministry of John and Jesus was being viewed in the cities where He worked some of the greatest miracles, He began to upbraid the cities where He did these mighty works. Instead of them focusing on the fact that the miracles and mighty works were from God, they went to accusing John and Jesus of some of the most ridiculous accusations. Instead of them realizing there was no bit of evidence, the verbal accusations was all that the people and the leaders needed for them to disdain the ministries of John and Jesus. The people had seen with their eyes the mighty miracles Jesus was performing and the healings, what they had not seen was one shred of evidence to confirm the accusations. How blind were these people and that is why Jesus reproached them because they chose Satan over Him and Jesus knew what that outcome would lead to.