Todays readings … Genesis 17&18, Psalms 19-21, Matthew 11
Jesus said, “to what shall I liken this generation?” [Matt. 11 v.16] Each generation has had those who search for answers as to the meaning of life. John the Baptist, shut up in prison appears to have wanted reassurance when he sent his disciples to Jesus, asking, are you really the one? Notice how Jesus never gives plain ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answers, the response was to say look at what is happening and consider that in light of what God revealed through the prophets. (v.2-6) Those with their own agenda of thoughts were offended at him.
We read today in Genesis of Abraham’s conversation with the angel of the LORD about Sodom [Ch. 18] who said, “because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin very grave, I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me” [v.21] Abraham obtains a promise that if 10 righteous are found there he would not destroy the city. But only 3 were saved! Tragic! As today, sexual perversions were a dominant factor; that generation, like ours, had its thoughts directed to the things of the flesh.
We notice how Jesus, in today’s chapter, mentions Sodom, saying [v,22] that if the amazing miracles that the people of Capernaum were seeing had been done in Sodom they would have responded and it would not have been destroyed. He adds, “I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgement for the land of Sodom than for you” [v.24]
This is telling us that in the day of judgement it will not be a case of getting a high enough mark , like you need to go to University, but of God seeing how you have responded according to the evidence available to you. No one will “earn” a place in God’s Kingdom. The cities in which Jesus did his miracles failed the test [v.20-21]. But everyone on that day will need the mercy and grace of our judge, for he will see the real motivations of our heart against the background of the circumstances in which we have lived.
So what did Jesus say about “this generation” as to what he should compare it to? We read this in v.16-19. They were like children at play who refused to grow up, wilfully misinterpreting the actions of Jesus, saying he was “a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners”
So what would he say of today’s generation?
The world today has discovered far more of the absolute wonders of creation but refuse to face the obvious meaning of the evidence. Nearly all are like the generation Jesus talked to, they refuse to face the evidence. In addition, today we have God’s word, the Bible, freely available in every language.
This is a blessing so many scorn, just as they scorned the work and teaching of Jesus nearly 2,000 years ago: may all who read this – prove to be the exception.