To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: "We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge and you did not mourn."This week gives you the chance to talk about some of the times when Jesus wasn't very nice.
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, "Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners." But wisdom is proved right by her actions (Matthew 11:16-19, NIV).
- He cleared the Temple of money-changers and animal-sellers (Matthew 21: 12-13).
- He cursed a fig tree (Matthew 21:18-22).
- And he cursed the Pharisees with seven woes (Matthew 23:1-39).
- Why did Jesus behave the way he did?
- Should we do the same?
As you study, you'll notice how Jesus was absolutely intolerant of anything that got between people and God . . . and this will lead you to the question of why we so often tolerate these things -- especially when other people are inconvenienced, and not ourselves.
When Jesus cleared the Temple, for instance, he did this so that Gentiles would have a place to worship -- one of the first examples, I suppose, of a "seeker-sensitive service." Likewise, he ate with tax collectors and "sinners," even at the risk of his own reputation -- a standing rebuke to churches that would rather look good than do good.
In short, Jesus was loving. Jesus was kind. Jesus gave his life for us.
But Jesus was not always "nice."
And what should you do about it?
-This is adapted from a post that appeared on May 9, 2008