Matthew 11:16-24 To What Shall We Compare This Generation?

16 “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:

17 “‘We played the pipe for you,
    and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
    and you did not mourn.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 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 deeds.”

20 Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades.[e] For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

To What Shall We Compare This Generation?

Jesus, this generation is connected to each other like never before.  Ironically, a million little connections have made many of them shallow, starved, and lonely.  There is little time for deep connections in our over-busy society.  Parents come home late, set a meal in the microwave and snooze through their children’s development.  Longing for relationship is painful when your mentors flit from relationship to relationship and buy into a consumer mindset.  The consumer mindset sees children as a commodity to add to their portfolio between 30 and 35.

I love my son Daryl and his sister, Amelia.  However, their peers will be learning that You have little to do with life.  They will be deists.  They will believe in God but he will be irrelevant.  Oh, Jesus, they dictate to God how he must act and they declare he gives them no proof.  They are blinded by a superficial culture and you have hidden yourself.  I know, Jesus, that You can not be controlled, but I want you to reveal the bankrupt culture around us for what it is.  There’s no lasting satisfaction in anything other than relationship.  There is no eternal love, but Yours.  You don’t force Yourself on us, and we blame you for it.  If you forced Yourself on us, we would whine about our freedoms being violated.  In the end, this generation wants all the benefits without the responsibility.  Jesus, break through the apathy of my children’s generation!  Set a fire alight in us that burns 24/7 so that it might ignite those who follow.


  1. To what did Jesus compare his generation?
  2. How did John the Baptist and Jesus announce the Kingdom of Heaven differently?
  3. Why do you think people rejected both Jesus and John?
  4. Why isn’t Jesus a major player in the plans of this generation?
  5. How can we seek a method of preaching and teaching this generation?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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