This passage and what immediately precedes, contains a chiastic comparison: John
the Baptist / Jesus vis-à-vis the crowd who taunt and jeer as children would treat
strangers in the marketplace. Jesus is the "expected coming one," and John is
the final prophetic word to introduce Gods promised one. But "this
generation" lacks discernment and recognizes neither one. 
- The Quandary John and Jesus are like persons treated poorly by children in the
marketplace who refuse to celebrate and participate in their games. "John insists on
leading the aesthetic life and calling for repentance, so the people declare him possessed
of a demon. Jesus, the Son of Man, feasts in inappropriate ways with inappropriate people,
so the people declare him a drunk and glutton. 
The perceptive reader is stunned by this section of Matthew, in which all those who
should recognize the definitive revelation of God taking place in their midst instead fail
to "get it." John the Baptist, who had baptized Jesus, knew his own
unworthiness, and had heard the heavenly voice (11:2-14) did not get it. Those who had
their own games to play and found that neither John nor Jesus met the predetermined
criteria of their own values (11:16-19) did not get it. Chorazin, Bethsaida, and
Capernaum, in whose presence Jesus had lived out the mighty acts of the dawning kingdom of
God (11:20-24) did not get it . . . Those who did get it were the "babies," the
unpretentious "little ones" who made no claims but could be given the gift of
revelation, which comes from God alone (11:25b-27) . . . Who gets it? The passage closes
with an invitation . . . to all who know themselves to be burdened and in need of
salvation, an invitation to learn and become Jesus disciplethey get it. 
What charge is Jesus really
indicting "this generation" with? Non-participation? Non-support? Speaking out
of both sides of the mouth? Non-committal? Sloth?
- What actions does Jesus refer to that corroborates wisdom?
- What is the common denominator between all of the characters and communities that Jesus
namesand rebukesin this chapter?
Journey motifBlock #1:
Independence Day / Statue of Liberty sayingGive me your tired, your pooras
recalling Jesus similar wordsCome unto me you who labor and are heavy laden.
- Block #2: So we are invited to come and find strength for the journey alongside of
Jesus; but the journey is not easy as the characters in this chapter indicate.
- John the Baptist
- the crowds
- the cities
- Block #3: yet we are all invited to travel and learn and find strength with Jesus;
God gives us rest by offering the wisdom of Christ and the companionship of Christ.
Jesus shoulders the yoke with us; the journey is difficult, but the God who loves us and
walks with us every day chooses to journey with usand that makes all the difference.
 The New Interpreters Bible VIII (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995),
 Diane Jacobson, New Proclamation 2002 (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001), page 124.
 NIB, page 275.
 Adapted from The Abingdon Preaching Annual 2002 Edition (Nashville: Abingdon Press,
2001), page 247.