Questions and Answers
Q: What does Luke 7:33-34 mean?
In order to stay within context, one must back up to verse 29. Verses 29-30 identify two different classes of people who gave audience to the preaching and ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus. The first were the common people and tax collectors. These people were looked down upon by the second group, the Pharisees and lawyers. Both groups heard the message of John the Baptist, but only the first responded with repentance and identified with the message through baptism. The Pharisees and lawyers rejected Johnís message and baptism.
Both Jesus and John preached the same message of repentance, but their ministry methods differed. John presented an example of austerity, asceticism, and self-denial. Jesus identified Himself with the people. John lived in the wilderness. Jesus lived among the people.
Jesus described the attitude of the Pharisees and lawyers to that of children playing, verses 31-32. The children were unable to agree upon what game to play, wedding or funeral. Neither satisfied them. The Pharisees and lawyers began to accuse John the Baptist of having a demon and accused Jesus of being a glutton and drunk. Just because Jesus associated with the people He was ministering to does not mean He partook of what they were involved in. Contemporarily, there are those who minister to drug addicts, but that does not mean these ministers do drugs. Those who minister to prisoners have not necessarily lived a life these prisoners have lived. Ministers to prostitutes are not themselves practicing prostitution.
The point of this passage is not was Jesus a drinker or a drunk. The message points to the condition of the heart of the hearers of Gods message of repentance. One heart hears and is receptive. The other hears the same message through various ways and yet, refuses to heed and rejects the message. They seem to find any excuse to refuse Godís gracious gift. Nothing and no one will please them.
Even though the majority of people may reject Jesus, His true followers will vindicate His claims of love, holiness, and devotedness.