A Doubting Generation. What happens when a generation doubts Jesus is God? What happens when a nation’s leaders doubt? I want each of us to ask, “Where are our generation and our nation’s leaders concerning Jesus? It makes a huge difference not only what our spiritual leaders believe, but also what our national leaders believe. Together they determine where our generation and the future generations go.


By Delbert Young

A Doubting Generation (Luke 7:29-35)


Sermon video


A Doubting Generation – Luke 7:29-35

Scriptures: Scriptures: Luke 7:29-30; Luke 7:31-32; Luke 9:41; Luke 11:29; Luke 11:50; Luke 11:51; Luke 17:25; Matthew 23:36; Matthew 24:34; Luke 7:32; Luke 7:33; Luke 7:34; Daniel 7:13-14; Matthew 16:27-28; Matthew 24:21, 27-28, 34; Luke 7:34; Luke 7:35

Two lessons ago we took a look at personal doubting. John the Baptist, the greatest man born of women according to Jesus, struggled with doubting. John doubted Jesus was who Jesus said he was. If the greatest man born of women struggled with doubting, certainly you and I can expect to struggle. Last time we saw Jesus respond to John’s doubting and give John a serious warning concerning stumbling and stumbling others. We learned how Jesus responds to our doubting and warns us. Today, I want to look at an entire generation or nation doubting. What happens when a generation doubts Jesus is God? What happens when a nation’s leaders doubt? I want each of us to ask, “Where are our generation and our nation’s leaders concerning Jesus?

Luke 7:29-30 (ALL THE PEOPLE, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John. BUT THE PHARISEES AND EXPERTS IN THE LAW REJECTED GOD’S PURPOSE FOR THEMSELVES, because they had not been baptized by John.)

We see two groups – “All the people” and ‘Pharisees and experts in the law.”One group said God’s right. The other group rejected God’s purpose. Their rejection of God’s purpose means they rejected both John and Jesus. They couldn’t believe one was of God without believing the other – package deal. This becomes massively important. Theywere “experts in the law” meaning they were not only recognized as “experts” in the scriptures. They were the nation’s political and spiritual leaders. They rejected God’s purpose for themselvesshowing they were only interested in their personal purposes and gain for themselves. They didn’t care about the people. They rejected John and Jesus as they were God’s purpose.

We, in our amazing nation, have a Legislative Branch called Congress made of the House of Representatives and the Senate, an Executive Branch made up of the President and Vice President, and a Judicial Branch made up of the Supreme Court all constructed upon and by our Constitution. Their “constitution” was the Old Testament and the thousands of amendments they added to God’s word. These “experts in the law” were their nation’s political and spiritual system. We separate church and state. (The original purpose of that is so the state could not interfere with the church, not visa versa.) Their system was combined and as we’ve learned, their system was extremely corrupt.

You understand, I can’t say much in a political nature, but I can ask you where our generation, meaning nation, is going. Either way you think, good or bad, can we say it’s because our “experts” have or have not rejected God’s purpose for themselves?

It makes a huge difference not only what our spiritual leaders believe, but also what our national leaders believe. Together they determine where our generation and the future generations go. They are leaders leading you and me somewhere. Though the people “acknowledged that God’s way was right,” it didn’t matter.The leaders – “experts” – were leading their entire nation to doom.

Sometimes, we’re not interested in our national leaders and their belief in God’s purpose for themselves. Jesus shows us neglecting this will eventually produce an adverse effect on a nation. Eventually, this will come down on a generation and that generation will pay the judgment. Jesus said in the next verse,

Luke 7:31-32 “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 flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.’

Notice it’s the people of this generation. This is about real people. It’s about an entire generation of people – a nation of people who will be ravaged and destroyed because their leaders “rejected God purpose for themselves.”

This is a fascinating passage. It gives us Jesus’ assessment of his owngeneration. It also allows us to know God assesses every generation. Let’s look a little at Jesus’ assessment of his generation – nation. As we read, let’s assess and compare our generation – nation.

Luke 9:41 “O unbelieving and perverse generation”…

How does our generation look concerning unbelief and perversion? HasAmerica ever had a more unbelieving and perverse generation?

Luke 11:29 As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation…

What about wickedness? How does our generation look there?

Luke 11:50 Therefore THIS GENERATION will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world

Luke 11:51 …Yes, I tell you, THIS GENERATION will be held responsible for it all.

What does that mean? It means something very, very horrific will happen to his generation. The payment for blood is blood. God holds a generation responsible.

Luke 17:25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by THIS GENERATION.

Matthew 23:36 I tell you the truth, all this will come upon THIS GENERATION.

All what? All the judgment Jesus explained previously.

Matthew 24:34 …THIS GENERATION will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

There’s more Jesus had to say, but certainly this is sufficient. How did our generation -nation – do in your assessment? Jesus spoke of their perversion, their unbelief, their wickedness, rejecting God’s messengers, their rejection of him, and their eminent doom within the time of that generation. What does Jesus speak about our generation?

Jesus said, “To what can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like?”

Luke 7:32 THEY ARE LIKE CHILDREN sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other: “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.’

What? Jesus gave an illustration they and we did as children – pretending to do what grown ups do. Jesus used two extremes: (1) pretending a wedding saying,“We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;” (2) pretending a funeral saying, “We sang a dirge, and you did not cry.”

Children pretending a wedding means you be the bride. You be the groom. You be the preacher/officiate. You be the Maid of Honor, Best Man, etc. I’ll get a flute and play some happy dancing music. I wanted to pretend a wedding, but the other children wouldn’t participate. Though I invited you, “You did not dance.”This generation, specifically the “expert” leaders, rejected the happy time.

Well, if you won’t play a happy time wedding, let’s pretend a sad time funeral. (I may have played wedding when I was a child, but I don’t ever remember playing funeral.) So, you be the dead guy. You guys be pallbearers. You be the preacher. You girls be mourners. I’ll play a sad dirge and we will all cry. However, this generation didn’t want to do that either. Though I invited you,“You did not cry. You rejected the sad time too.

You won’t participate in the happy time. You won’t participate in the sad time. No matter how we attempt to include you, you won’t involve your own selves. They rejected god’s purpose for themselves. All they wanted was power and gain for themselves. They wanted to run the show, not God. We all remember how it was. You wanted to pretend something, but others would only do what they wanted, so they took their toys and went home. What’s the point Jesus made?

Jesus said this generation is like spoiled, crabby, obnoxious, rebellious children – brats. Jesus explained.

Luke 7:33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’

John came singing the sad dirge of hellfire and brimstone wanting every one to repent and cry. John sang judgment and death. “The ax is laid at the root of the tree. The chaff will be burned.” John abstained from society’s food and from alcoholic beverages (Luk 1:15). He ate bugs and wild honey. John totally disconnected from society living in the wilderness. You crabby little obnoxious monsters say, “He has a demon.” Eventually, the Pharisees and experts, the national leaders who wouldn’t participate in John’s baptism song, convinced this generation John’s eccentric lifestyle meant he was demon possessed. No one wants a person with a demon leading them.

Luke 7:34 THE SON OF MAN came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.

No one wants a glutton and a drunkard leading them. So, John wasn’t liberal enough. He was in bondage to a demon. Jesus was too liberal. Jesus didn’t say, “I, Jesus, came eating and drinking…” He said, “the Son of Man came eating and drinking…” He referenced himself, but what does that mean? Let’s discuss the Son of Man quickly. Jesus never called himself in scriptures by his name “Jesus.” He nearly always referenced himself as the Son of Man. You need to understand the meaning of it. They did and it’s big.

Daniel 7:13-14 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a SON OF MAN, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

This passage is a word picture of Christ’s ascension with the clouds of heaven(Acts 1:9). We also see this word picture in Revelation when the Lamb slain receives the scroll written within and without (Rev 5:7). It’s Jesus, the Son of Man, receiving Messianic authority and his kingdom that will never pass away and never be destroyed. I think we got that, but how does it relate to the generation thing?

Matthew 16:27-28 For THE SON OF MAN is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, SOME WHO ARE STANDING HERE WILL NOT TASTE DEATH before they see the SON OF MAN COMING IN HIS KINGDOM.

We’re taught traditionally Jesus won’t come in his kingdom until certain events yet to happen, happen. Yet, here, Jesus talking to his disciples, explained to them he, the Son of Man will come in his kingdom before some standing there die. The Son of Man – Jesus – would come during that generation (or either we have some two-thousand year old men walking around).

The coming of the Son of Man with his angels is his coming in judgment. This coming judgment would take place in their lifetime – their generation – and it would be horrific.

Matthew 24:21, 27-28, 34 For then shall be GREAT TRIBULATION, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be… For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather… I tell you the truth, THIS GENERATION WILL CERTAINLY NOT PASS AWAY UNTIL ALL THESE THINGS HAVE HAPPENED.

All the above scriptures are in the same context. The Son of Man is an extremely serious issue. Did the above take place during that generation? Yes. I’ll talk more about it at the end, but now you should have a better idea of who the Son of Man is. Jesus said,

Luke 7:34 THE SON OF MAN came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.

Jesus said the Son of Man, the Messiah King of the eternal kingdom came eating and drinking. Jesus said he did. That’s how he came – very liberal when compared to John. Jesus wasn’t disconnected from society as was John. Jesus involved himself in society opposite to John. He went to weddings. He went to parties and dinners. He kept current with events and the vernacular. He went to church (synagogue) with them. He talked to everybody including Pharisees and the experts. He lived in the main stream of social life. Jesus played the song for the “wedding game.”

Nothing worked. They wouldn’t dirge with John and they wouldn’t dance with Jesus. The generation was like know-it-all, spoiled, obnoxious, rebellious, undisciplined children. They rejected God’s purpose for themselves.

Luke 7:35 But wisdom IS PROVED RIGHT by all her children.

The word translated wisdom is sophia {sof-ee’-ah} meaning wisdom, broad and full of intelligence; the varied knowledge of things human and divine; skill and discretion in imparting Christian truth; requisites for godly and upright living.

True wisdom is proved right. It’s the wisdom a parent must have to raise godly and upright children – not rebellious brats. It’s the wisdom of things both “human and divine” – maybe political/natural and spiritual. I’m not wise unless I have knowledge about both. Wisdom is proven by imparting “godly and upright living.” It’s a parent’s wisdom proved right years later when their “imparting Christian truth” is obvious by mature children correctly setting up the next generation. Jesus is saying, we will see by our children if we were wise or not. Jesus said we will see if the Jewish religious leaders were the ones with wisdom, or if I was the one with wisdom. Wisdom isn’t proven by what you say. Wisdom is proved right by what you produce.

So, who proved right? We will be studying this in more depth in weeks and months to come. For today, in 66 A.D. about thirty-five years after Jesus said “this generation will not pass,” the Jews revolted against Rome. By September, in the area of Megiddo three Roman commanders – Cestius, Vespasian, and Titus – gathered the Roman army and invaded Israel. Armageddon began. They ravaged the nation. Every city, town, and village was destroyed includingJerusalem. The temple was taken apart stone by stone exactly as Jesus said (Mat 24:2). Nearly 100,000 Jews died. Those that remained were taken into slavery all over the world. It was worse than anything ever happening to the Jews just as Jesus said, “…great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” That generation of spoiled obnoxious brats who rejected God’s plan for themselves, who would not cry with John nor dance with Jesus, those “Pharisees and experts in the law” led that nation into doomsday. What kind of wisdom is that? Whose wisdom proved right?

To what does Jesus compare our generation? What are we like? Where are our experts leading our generation and our nation? Upon what generation will all these things come? What generation will pay with their blood?

When our leaders reject God’s purpose for themselves, it only means they are interested only in their personal purpose and gain. They don’t care about the generation of people and they don’t care about God. Here’s the good news. It’s a presidential election year. Also every two years, we have the opportunity to elect representatives and senators. We are able to investigate those who will lead. This year we will decide who will be president and vice president. We will elect congressional representatives and senators. We will elect a vice president. We need to have wisdom about this as wisdom is proved right by her children. What will our children, grandchildren, and generations to come say about our generations and our wisdom?

Other Related Sermons:

The Promise – Easter sermon video audio notes

Excitement of Christianity – Easter sermon video audio notes

What Then? – Easter sermon video audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young