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The Parable of the
Children at Play

The Parable of the Children at Play...

This is the way the "men of this generation act"...towards spiritual realities of the heart. They are immature, finding fault as children do, complaining when things don't go their way.

Luke 7.31-35

"To what can I compare the people of this generation?” Jesus asked. “How can I describe them? 32 They are like children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends,

‘We sang wedding songs, and you didn’t dance, so we sang funeral songs, and you didn’t weep.’

33 For John the Baptist didn’t spend his time eating bread or drinking wine, and you say, ‘He’s possessed by a demon.’

34 The Son of Man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!’

35 But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it.”

The Parable reveals:

  • Grown ups acting and thinking like children
  • Selfish, immature
  • Lack reality
  • Living in "make-belief" world
  • They complain to their friends when things don't go their way
  • They act on impulse, not reality
  • Nothing is taken seriously
  • False basis of judging John
  • False basis of judging Jesus
  • Everything based on emotions, not factual at all...
  • Everything changes on a whim

  • The "imagination" is a whole world inside the mind...

Parables are powerful "word-pictures" that are meant to be engrafted into our mental pictures do control our thought-life.

That's where the "imagination" gets involved. The imagination allows mental exploration of the past, present, future. It is the ability to see pictures and images in the "movie theater" of the mind. The imagination is the "workshop" of the human mind. It is the only thing in the world we have complete control over. That's why GOD takes great interest of what goes on there, and judges what we allow to grow there - Genesis 6.5

Children at Play

Childishness is expected of children, not of men who are adults

There is a difference between childishness, and being child-like [which is a teachable spirit]

Make-belief is for children's activities - not for grown adults

1 Corinthians 13.11 "When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things."

When the "immature" think like children at play, they reach unrealistic conclusions...

  • John the Baptist dressed in rugged attire
  • ate locusts and honey
  • lived in the desert
  • called for people to come to repentance
  • condemned sin

The reaction to the "men of this generation" - John the Baptist had a demon... why label John that way?

The immature have no tolerance for any uncompromising truths that might violate their "easy-to-go" lifestyle...

Jesus came eating and drinking...

  • wore the same clothes as others
  • attended banquets, dinners
  • made many friends, enlisted a group of disciples
  • demanded repentance
  • stressed GOD's mercy, grace

They branded Jesus as a "glutton and a winebibber".

How weird! Children at play, indeed...

  • Children call people names, and brand them without reality. 
  • When it comes to spiritual reality, these people are dissatisfied, immature, and argumentative
  • There's no reason to get too serious about spiritual things
  • Like children, GOD can't please them, nothing really satisfies, and they act like little children who can't get along...

The results, however, have no bearing on how "immature people" think -

  1. The fruit of the Kingdom of GOD is reality within those who allow it
  2. The Kingdom of GOD is here to stay
  3. The Kingdom of GOD is thriving, although "out of sight" to most

What is the message of this parable?

  1. Grow up!
  2. Stop acting like children
  3. Get involved with the will of GOD for your life.

Jeremiah 4.22

"My people are foolish and do not know me,” says the Lord. “They are stupid children who have no understanding. They are clever enough at doing wrong, but they have no idea how to do right!”

1 Corinthians 3.1-4

"Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life.

2 I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready,

3 for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?

4 When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?

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