Matthew 11: Call Me Crazy
In Matthew 11, we have Jesus talking about John the Baptist, and I was struck by the contrast between Jesus and John.
Mat 11:16 But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows,
Mat 11:17 And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.
Mat 11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.
Mat 11:19 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.
Jesus is identified here as the Son of Man, and it seems to refer back to Matthew 9 where Jesus was criticized for eating a meal with the tax collectors. The people were not happy that He was partaking in those activities, but they also thought John was crazy for not doing any of them.
Part of me wonders if Jesus could have done anything that would have made the people happy. After all, what was really offensive about Jesus was not necessarily who He had dinner with, but His teaching was hard for some people to handle. John was the same way. They were preaching about a shift that was going to be taking place, and people were not always able to understand that.
I guess the take away for us is that we should not be surprised whatsoever if people think our decisions as Christians are crazy. Sure, we express our faith in different ways. Some of us might have convictions that they lead us to live like John. Some of us might not be comfortable with that, but we might be more comfortable sharing our faith with that “tax collectors” of our day. We have different callings of who we are meant to minister to, but I think we can learn from John and Jesus that there will always be critics and people do not understand. We try to work with them, but it is a reality.