One of the great benefits of an all-you-can-eat buffet is that you can pick which foods you want. From the scriptures to the preachers, people want to pick what they’ll believe and overlook the rest. There are some who prefer fire and brimstone preaching and those who are attracted to the hyper grace approach. As a pastor I’ve learned to have a balance and to not try to please the people but ultimately please God. Some people will hear you and some won’t listen, no matter which approach you use. Jesus addressed this mindset of insatiability in the book of Luke.
“And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept. For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners” Luke 7:31-34
The children of that time would sit in the marketplace and play games where they’d mimic the adults at festive events and funerals. Jesus compared the men of that generation to these children. Piping was playing the flute and generally this was considered a merry event where people would dance. So one would mimic flute playing with the expectation for the others to dance.
Then they’d mourn as if they were at a funeral and the others would do the same. Jesus was speaking about John’s ministry in contrast to his own. John the Baptist was austere and didn’t eat or drink wine so the Pharisees said he had a demon. On the other hand, Jesus was sociable and ate with the publicans and sinners so he was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard.
Jesus was conveying that these people weren’t happy with John’s approach or his. He was telling them that both were rejected and that these men weren’t pleased with either of their ministries. He compared them to children unsatisfied because John wouldn’t participate in their festivities and equally agreed that Jesus was more sociable. It’s wise to conclude that as ministers of the Gospel, we should not attempt to meet people’s preference because some will never accept the Gospel no matter who brings it. Please the Lord and not people