Luke 7:31-35

“To what then will I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, ‘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.” Luke 7:31-35

Jesus says that sometimes, some people just don’t get it. They don’t understand. They can’t understand. Maybe they refuse to understand. And nothing can get through to turn their thinking around.

The trouble is, we don’t know who we are. “Am I one of those people who just doesn’t get it?” is a question we probably ought to ask ourselves with some regularity. Is my focus on seeking the truth or is my focus on defending my own point of view?

The unwillingness to seriously ask that question of ourselves is childish. We become, as Jesus says, “like children sitting in the marketplace.” Mature people are self-reflective, open to reason, willing to change their minds. Able to see reality for what it is.

But how do we know the difference?

There is a word that I don’t remember hearing in public much until several years ago. That word is “whataboutism.” I clearly remember getting into trouble for one thing or another as a child and then seeking to defend myself by changing the subject, changing the focus – “Yeah, but what about Billy? Did you see what he did? That was a lot worse than anything I did.” (Understand that you need to imagine a certain whine in my voice in reading that sentence.)

But whataboutism is something Jesus surfaces in those who reject what God is up to in both John and Jesus.

To those who would defend John’s work, his opponents say “He has a demon.” What about that?

To those who would defend Jesus’ work, his opponents say “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” What about that?

Either way, they don’t see that they just don’t get it. They can’t see reality staring them in the face. All they are doing is defending themselves and all that they think is true, all they cling to. They just don’t get it.

How do we tell the difference? The proof of the pudding is in the eating. What are the real life implications for real life people in my point of view? Does my understanding of Jesus take me to a place of love or a place where I feel personally justified in separating the sheep from the goats?”

How about today we all take a little time to ask the question, “Do I, or don’t I, get it? What am I seeking – the truth, or defending my own point of view?”

Dear Jesus, open our minds to ourselves. Help us more clearly hear ourselves, that we might be more open to clearly hearing your call to dance. Help us, in all things, to seek the truth and do the next right thing. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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