In the text of today, Jesus uses an analogy to show his view of the present generation. One group wants to play a happy game, a game of joy, a game of a wedding celebration, but the other group will not join. The first group then agrees to change the game to a game of mourning, a game of sorrow, a game of funerals, but even with this change, the other group will not participate.
The latter option corresponds to the gaunt and ascetic figure of John, whose message of coming judgment was too threatening, and whose life-style was too unworldly for the sophisticates of “this generation.” But when Jesus came in meekness, announcing the peaceable kingdom of unconditional love and forgiveness and celebrating the goodness of life with all, he was rejected as not “spiritual” enough. “This generation’s” description of Jesus as a glutton and a drunkard is reminiscent of Deut 21:20, suggesting more than merely an insult: Jesus is a rebellious Israelite worthy of stoning, one who should be executed in order to purge evil from the midst of the covenant community. For you, “the Baptist is a madman because he fasts, while you want to make merry; me you reproach because I eat with publicans, while you insist on strict separation from sinners”. You hate the preaching of repentance, and you hate the proclamation of the Gospel. The change of “all her children” found in Luke, to “her actions” in Matthew is probably because Matthew wants to identify Jesus as Wisdom incarnate and not merely as one of Wisdom’s messengers. Wisdom is proved right by her actions since they are the actions of Jesus himself.
The mother of a young boy of 10 was at her wits end when it came to dealing with him. Nothing she did would please him and he would always complain about something or other. If she fried an egg for him at breakfast, he would refuse to eat it and ask for a boiled one instead. If she boiled one the next day, he would ask for a fried egg. This went on and she had reached the end of her tether. One morning before breakfast, she thought she would be able to win and so fried one egg and boiled another. The boy came to the breakfast table, looked at both eggs, and said to his mother; “You fried the wrong one”.