Summary: If you had the chance to go back to the time of Jesus and follow him as a disciple, would you take it? Jesus pointed out that there were people who saw his ministry and saw John the Baptist's ministry, but made excuses rather than commitment, so they missed out.

I love preaching through the life of Jesus. There is something about his teachings and the things that he did that just stretches me again and again. Any time I start to think I have it all figured out, I just need to take another look at Jesus, and I know there are more wonders still ahead for me.

And because Jesus was so amazing you would think that everybody who had a chance to actually meet him and listen to his teaching and see the wonderful things he did would be deeply changed by it. Anyone who met him would never be the same. But it didn’t happen that way. In fact, there were days that he didn’t have very many followers at all. And there were some very religious people who were very interested in him, who traveled long distances to see him, but who weren’t impressed. And they saw the love and the miracles and they heard the words of grace and wisdom, but it didn’t sink in.

In today’s text Jesus gives an explanation for what went wrong. And it is a warning for all times and places for everyone who hears the good news about Jesus. Be careful how you hear so that it really can do you some good.

One day John the Baptist sent some of his disciples to ask Jesus a question. Jesus answered it graciously and they went on their way back to John. And then Jesus turned to the crowd and talked about John to them. He really honored John the Baptist. And then he pointed out that there were people who had heard the preaching of John the Baptist and now they had heard the teaching of Jesus, and in spite of sitting under the ministry of these two great leaders, nothing sunk in.

Our text for this morning is Luke 7:31-35. I encourage you to open up your Bible so that you can see it for yourself. Its on page 66 of the New Testament section of your pew Bible. Now please stand for the reading of God’s word.

31 "To what then will I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32 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.' 33 For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, 'He has a demon'; 34 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!' 35 Nevertheless, wisdom is vindicated by all her children."

Is it possible that someone could actually get to meet both John the Baptist and Jesus, hear their teachings, look into their eyes, see how other people were changed, see the amazing lives they lived, and not be changed themselves? Yes it is! Lot’s of people did it. They saw John the Baptist preach to huge crowds and heard him preach. They saw Jesus heal the sick, feed thousands and they heard him do amazing teachings. But they just turned away and went on with their lives.

And Jesus doesn’t really say it out and out, but from the context of things around this, the people who couldn’t find anything to change their lives in either John the Baptist or Jesus Christ were not bad people or stupid people. They were good religious people, very religious people.

And as religious and as smart as they may have been, they didn’t use their religious knowledge or their intelligence for working out new lives. They used their Bible knowledge and their intelligence to make up excuses to just keep on doing what they always did, to keep right on walking down the comfortable road, rather than the difficult road of discipleship.

And what was their problem with John the Baptist? They said he was too serious. He lived out in the wilderness, where it was uncivilized. He wouldn’t even drink wine, and everyone drank wine then. He had the cheapest clothes, like only really hard-up people would wear. He didn’t eat very nice food. He just foraged for what you could find in the wilderness, things like locusts and wild honey. Gross! And, they liked people who were civilized, who appreciated the finer things of life that God has given us to enjoy.

So, they had their excuse for not listening to John. He must be demon possessed or something if he’s that different.

So, if God sent them a great teacher who just ate and drank like everyone else, would they be satisfied? No, Jesus came and he spent a lot of time visiting in people’s homes and there was so much joy around him that people often invited their friends to come for a banquet and eat some really good dinners and meet him. Jesus was really different than John.

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