Can you Dance?
Scripture: “Jesus went on to say, “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other: “‘We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.’ Luke 7:31- 32
Jesus was skilled at the “art of questions,” a widely used method of teaching and learning between rabbis and disciples in the first century. With this teaching style disciples were to answer a question with a question to show how well they understood the topic of discussion. Whenever Jesus asks a question, it’s a good time for us to listen up, especially when he gives us
the answer. Jesus does just that in Luke 7:31&32. Listen to what it says: “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? Answer: They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:” ‘We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.'”
Every time I read this passage, I try to picture what Jesus was describing. Pause for a moment, and paint the picture in your mind; then together let’s ask the Lord to use it to instruct our hearts? Selah
I was in Istanbul just about a year ago. Middle East markets are busy places with hundreds of people moving from vendor to vendor purchasing their products. This is the type of setting that Jesus paints a picture of for his audience. There are children playing a pipe or flute apparently hoping that people might participate with them by dancing to their song. This was done that those passing by might give the children alms. He then paints another picture, this time it is children singing a dirge hoping someone would notice and share in their grief, again by giving alms. The marketplace was a setting where children would often do this type of activity, and also be place where they would be easily overlooked.
So what was Jesus trying to point out? My personal interpretation is that Jesus was painting a picture to illustrate, that due to the busyness of normal life, people are often blind to what was happening right around them. We become dulled to the needs around us and unaware that their hearts need to be stirred. The people in the market were completely unaffected due to the normal marketplace rhythm and routine of life.
I believe that the generation Jesus was talking about might just as well be our generation today. I should be asking myself; “When was the last time I allowed my heart to be moved to dance or cry? Has my normal routine caused me to grow dull to the needs and/or opportunities that I pass everyday?” When I go to a worship service, do I allow myself the emotional capacity to dance in God’s presence with God’s people? Have I allowed the routine of my life to limit my heart from singing with abandonment with God’s people?
Or do I cry when faced over the brokenness of my generation? Is my only emotional response over what is happening in society today one of fear or anger rather than one of grief? Grief, anger and fear are totally different emotional responses, yet all three reveal heart motivations. Fear and anger may expose my self orientation, while grief may be a bit more noble at the realization that others are being exploited.
The Holy Spirit has used this scripture to draw me to a place of repentance over my lack of response. I am realizing that I need to invest my heart again to feel and see what is happening around me. I want to hear the children play the pipe! Can my heart and maybe even my feet dance when I see amazing works of God around me! I also want to cry when the “least of these” play a dirge. Lord, may I feel and hear what You are saying to this generation.
Prayer: Lord I repent of my numb and complacent heart over this generation. Help me to dance when I should dance and cry when I should cry. Help me to rend my heart so that I might feel what you feel over those that are spiritually dead in the marketplace of life. Change my heart O God…make me more like you!
For the Harvest!
David Lundquist mBridge.Global
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