‘We played ·music [L the pipe/flute] for you, but you did not dance; we sang a ·sad song [funeral song; dirge], but you did not ·cry [weep].’ [C The religious leaders wanted John to “dance” (lighten up his severe message) and wanted Jesus to “mourn” (follow their restrictive lifestyle).]
“But how can I show what the people of this generation are like? They are like children sitting in the market-place calling out to their friends, ‘We played at weddings for you but you wouldn’t dance, and we played at funerals and you wouldn’t cry!’ For John came in the strictest austerity and people say, ‘He’s crazy!’ Then the Son of Man came, enjoying life, and people say, ‘Look, a drunkard and a glutton—the bosom-friend of the tax-collector and the sinner.’ Ah, well, wisdom stands or falls by her own actions.”
“How can I account for this generation? The people have been like spoiled children whining to their parents, ‘We wanted to skip rope, and you were always too tired; we wanted to talk, but you were always too busy.’ John came fasting and they called him crazy. I came feasting and they called me a lush, a friend of the riffraff. Opinion polls don’t count for much, do they? The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”
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