Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Bunch of Big Bully-Babies (Luke 7:32)

They are like children who sit in the market place and call to one another, and they say, 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.' (Luke 7:32 NASB)

Jesus told the Jewish leaders that they were a bunch a big bully-babies. Well, that's not exactly the terminology, but it conveys the idea. He said that they were like children who were trying to make other children do what they wanted or expected. They played the flute but their friends would not dance. They played a dirge and they would not weep. They were only satisfied when they had made the other children do exactly what they said. They were angry and pouty when they didn't get their way. 

These difficult children were not interested in taking turns or playing together. They did not want to be equal with the other children. They were only interested in being the boss and getting their way. They were also interested in demeaning the other children. They wanted to say, "Dance!" and see the others dance on command like a puppet whose strings were being pulled. 

Choosing your own actions was not part of their plan. They wanted to tell people what to do and get instant and complete obedience. Because these men were rich and powerful, they had managed to do just that. Until they encountered Jesus. 

Encountering Jesus must have been one of the most exasperating experiences of their lives. When they tried to tell Him what to do, He just went right on doing what He was sent to do. He was the rule-maker, and He was going by the rules He and His father had made, not a bunch of jumbled add-on rules these men had concocted. They couldn't control God. They tried, but failed miserably. 

We cannot control God either, although sometimes we try. We don't always want to do things His way, do we?  A few months ago, I heard someone say to a person whose church had a ministry for the homeless, "I hope you keep doing that, because we sure don't want them at our church!" What??? There was something about "Love your neighbor as yourself" that she had seriously missed. 

Jesus didn't just love the homeless, the adulterers, the thieves, and "riff-raff", He ate with them, spent time with them, and brought them to the Father. He has gone back to heaven and is preparing a place for them. If we plan to spend eternity in heaven with Jesus, we should also be planning to spend eternity with a bunch of sinners who have been saved by grace, because that is exactly who will be there. We may exclude those we don't like now, but in eternity, Jesus will make the rules, and there will be none of our exclusions then. God will decide. 

Pray today that we will be willing to follow Jesus rather than insist on trying to tell God what to do. Pray, too, that our loved ones will see the wide-open arms of Jesus and will choose to move close to The One who will always be the Friend of Sinners. 
Link to last might's post: