Matthew 11:16-19; Luke 7:31-35 — Trying to please everyone

There is an old saying, “You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”

This was true even for the Son of God.  Jesus was perfect.  He was perfect in all he did.  He was love incarnate.  And yet, he could not please everyone.  Nor did he try.  Jesus pointed out the hypocrisy of his critics when he said,

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.”  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.'”  (Matthew 11:16-19)

In other words, when John the Baptist hit the scene with his ascetic ways, the Pharisees and others said, “Don’t listen to him.  He’s a madman.”

But when Jesus came on the scene, eating and drinking, they said, “Don’t listen to him, he’s a glutton and a drunkard (though Jesus was far from either).”

In other words, the only reason why the Pharisees rejected Jesus and John was not because of their lifestyle, but because they could not accept their message.

And many people today are the same.  When we preach the word of Christ, it makes people uncomfortable.  As a result, many people try to discredit the messenger in order to discredit the message.  And in trying to discredit the messenger, they will nitpick every single thing they can, making it impossible to please them.

What’s my point?  Don’t try.  The wise person won’t waste their time trying to please everyone.  The wise person will spend their time trying to please the one person that counts.  God.  And if they do, they will bear fruit.

As Jesus said,

But wisdom is proved right by all her children.  (Luke 7:35)

What did he mean?  The actions you take and the fruit you bear from trying to please him will prove that you are right, no matter what criticisms people may throw your way.

So don’t worry about trying to please everyone.  Jesus couldn’t.  Neither can you.  Rather let us focus on pleasing the one who called us.


About bkshiroma

I'm from Hawaii, but have been in Japan as a missionary/English teacher since 1995. I'm currently going to a church called Crossroad Nishinomiya, an international church in Nishinomiya, a city right between Kobe and Osaka. Check out their website: 私がハワイから来ましたけど1995年に宣教師と英会話の教師として日本に引っ越しました。 今西宮にあるクロスロード西宮という国際の教会に行っています。どうぞ、そのホムページを見てください:
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