The Nature of Unbelief


“‘But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places, who call out to the other children, and say, “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.” For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He has a demon!” The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, “Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax-gatherers and sinners!” Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.’” (Matthew 11:16–19)

Although Jesus’ miracles had already established His messianic credentials beyond any legitimate question, most of the Jewish people who witnessed those miracles refused to recognize the facts or accept Him as the Messiah.

But to what shall I compare this generation reflects a common oriental expression used to introduce a parable or other illustration. The Midrash, an ancient compilation of Jewish traditional teaching, contains many expressions (such as “To what is the matter like?” or “How can I illustrate this point?”) used by rabbis to introduce illustrative metaphors, analogies, and stories. In this tradition Jesus was saying, “How can I illustrate the responses of this generation of God’s people to His truth and work? To what do they compare?” . . .


Sermon ID 821121224495
Duration 01:59
Date Oct 15, 2014
Category Question & Answer
Bible Text Matthew 11
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