“To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another. We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.” (Matthew 11: 16-17)
It appears that Jesus was just a tiny bit frustrated with the people around him. John’s disciples had just finished questioning him. Was he really the “one” John had told them was coming? Others were wondering, “Is John really a prophet from God or just some eccentric living in the desert?” Would we have been asking the same questions? Would we have recognized the Messiah and John the Baptizer? Would Jesus be (is Jesus) just as frustrated with us?
The people were certainly seeking the answers to some very important questions, but seemingly were not looking in the right places. Jesus pointed that out, and chastised them for behaving “like children.” John had been proclaiming the coming of the Messiah! Jesus had been giving sight to the blind, hearing to deaf and healing the lepers! Still they did not believe? No wonder Jesus displayed some frustration.
Doesn’t the same thing happen to us? How many books or products have you purchased that promise the answers to happiness and fulfillment in your life? It’s been my experience that the answers we seek are never totally delivered. The world does not possess the “magic key.” We can never do enough! We can never be clever enough! It occurs to me that we are also looking in the wrong places!
If it is true that we can never do enough on our own when the answers we seek are elusive, what then? Recognizing this truth allows us to embrace the reality that our God knows our struggles and still calls us His “beloved!” Jesus gives us the answers we seek in the concluding verses in this Gospel passage. They have to be the most comforting words ever uttered! “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” There we have it — the answer!