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Luke 7:18-35

Sunday Morning Bible Study

August 16, 2015


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words  Video=75wpm


Luke was a doctor and a travelling companion of the apostle Paul.

He wrote this book while Paul was in prison.

In writing his book, Luke made use of other older documents like the Gospel of Mark, as well as extensive eyewitness accounts.

Jesus’ ministry has begun, and the people have been amazed not just at the things He’s been teaching, but the things He’s been doing.

Two weeks ago we saw how Jesus healed the servant of a Roman centurion.

Last week we saw Jesus raise a young man from the dead.

We ended last week with:

(Luke 7:17 NKJV) And this report about Him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region.

7:18-23 John’s Questions

:18 Then the disciples of John reported to him concerning all these things.

John’s disciples reported to John on the events that had been happening up north in Galilee.

:18 reportedapaggello – to bring tidings (from a person or a thing), bring word, report

:19 And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to Jesus, saying, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”

:19 callingproskaleomai – to call to; to call to one’s self

:19 look forprosdokao (“for” + “to watch”) – to expect (whether in thought, in hope, or in fear); to look for, wait for

:19 Are You the Coming One

This is a strange question coming from John the Baptist.

It sounds like he has his doubts about Jesus.

Keep in mind that as Jesus’ cousin, he knew more about Jesus than most.

John was the one who baptized Jesus and saw the Holy Spirit coming on Jesus. (Mat. 3:16)

(Matthew 3:16 NKJV) —16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.

After Jesus’ baptism, John was the first one who proclaimed…

(John 1:29b NKJV) …“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

This is perhaps a year later, so what happened?

Matthew tells us that John’s questions came because he was sitting in prison, put there by Herod. (Mat. 11:2-3)
(Matthew 11:2–3 NKJV) —2 And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples 3 and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
John is wondering if he got the “Messiah” thing right, then why is he in prison?

When we get to Luke 9, John will have been beheaded by Herod.


Doubt is normal

We talk a lot about how important it is to have faith.
You have to have faith in order to be saved.
It’s faith that pleases God.

(Hebrews 11:6 NKJV) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

What we don’t often talk about is how normal it is to go through periods of doubt.
Even Luke Skywalker had moments of doubt.
Video:  Star Wars – “That is why you fail”

A lack of faith is often why we fail, but it’s not abnormal.  We all have periods where we doubt.

Elijah was one of the greatest prophets of the Old Testament and is held up by James as being an example of a man of faith and prayer. (Jam. 5:17)
(James 5:17 NKJV) Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.
Elijah was a man who also had struggles with doubt.
He was the prophet who called on God to send fire from heaven, and God answered with fire. (1Ki. 18)

But when Queen Jezebel decided she wanted Elijah killed, this great man of faith ran off and hid in a cave, wondering why God had abandoned him (1Ki 19:4, 14)

(1 Kings 19:4 NKJV) —4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!”

(1 Kings 19:14 NKJV) And he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”

John’s doubts came while sitting in prison
For you …

It might be because something has not turned out the way you expected to.

It might be because you’ve been listening to the questions of some atheist and you haven’t taken the time to do your homework.  There are very real answers.

It might be because you feel like you’ve sinned too much and failed God somehow.

We all go through doubts.

What I want to assure you of is that you don’t have to stay in your doubt.

Watch how Jesus will respond to John.

:20 When the men had come to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ ”

:20 had comeparaginomai – to be present, to come near, approach

:21 And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight.

:21 hourhora – a certain definite time or season fixed by natural law and returning with the revolving year; a day; a twelfth part of the day-time, an hour; any definite time, point of time, moment

:21 He curedtherapeuo – to serve, do service; to heal, cure, restore to health

:21 infirmitiesnosos – disease, sickness

:21 afflictionsmastix – a whip, scourge; metaph. a scourge, plague; a calamity, misfortune, esp. sent by God to discipline or punish

:21 evilponeros – full of labors, annoyances, hardships; bad, of a bad nature or condition; in a physical sense: diseased or blind; in an ethical sense: evil wicked, bad

:21 blindtuphlos – blind; mentally blind

:21 He gavecharizomai – to do something pleasant or agreeable (to one), to do a favor to; to give graciously, give freely, bestow

He “graced” them with sight.

The root idea behind the word for “grace” is the idea of a gift, an undeserved gift.

:22 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.

:22 tellapaggello – to bring tidings (from a person or a thing), bring word, report; to proclaim, to make known openly, declare

:22 seeanablepo – to look up; to recover (lost) sight

:22 lamecholos – lame; deprived of a foot, maimed

:22 deafkophos – blunted, dull; blunted (or lamed) in tongue, dumb; blunted, dull in hearing; deaf

:22 the poorptochos – reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms; destitute of wealth, influence, position, honor

:22 the gospel preachedeuaggelizo (“evangelize”) – to bring good news, to announce glad tidings

:23 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

:23 blessed is he who is not offended

:23 blessedmakarios – blessed, happy

:23 offendedskandalizo – to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away

(Luke 7:23 ESV) And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

You’re going to find that Jesus is a big rock in the middle of your path of life.

What are you going to do with Jesus?
Is He going to trip you up?  Or are you going to trust Him?

:22 Go and tell John



Jesus gives John the answer he needs about his doubts.  Assurance comes from two things:
1. His Works
Jesus wants John to know about the things that He has been doing.
You too need to take time to think about what kinds of things Jesus accomplished.
Luke compiled evidence from written accounts as well as documented eye witness accounts.
The four gospels are historical documents that all tell the same story – Jesus did amazing things.

Video:  Gospel of John – Four Miracles

Jesus is no ordinary person.

John calls the miraculous works of Jesus “signs” and says,

(John 20:30–31 NKJV) —30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

The greatest of miracles was when Jesus Himself rose from the dead after having been dead for three days.

The world wants to tell you this is all fairy tale nonsense.

The apostles didn’t think so.

They all died horrible deaths proclaiming the same message – Jesus rose from the dead.

If you have doubts about Jesus, look at the works that Jesus has done, the things Jesus reminded John the Baptist of.
2. God’s Word
What is not so obvious in Jesus’ message to John is the fact that Jesus is hinting at the fulfillment of the Scriptures with these miracles.
700 years before Jesus, Isaiah told us how to recognize the Messiah:

(Isaiah 35:4–6 NKJV) —4 Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you.” 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6 Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert.

(Isaiah 61:1–2 NKJV) —1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn,

Jesus was reminding John to not just look at the miracles, but to look at the Word of God for the answers to his questions.
Some of you may be wondering if we can even trust the Bible as an historical record.

Every year archaeologists dig up more and more evidence that the Bible is indeed accurate.  Here’s just a teeny tiny sample –

Video:  SourceFlix – Walls of Jericho

Our assurance of salvation is based on the Word of God, not our feelings.

Our feelings can change all the time, and especially when we are going through a difficult time like John is, being in prison.

If you worry about whether or not you “feel” like you’re saved, you’re going to have a problem every time something affects your feelings.

God’s Word says our salvation is based on what Jesus has done for us.

(Ephesians 2:8–9 NKJV) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Jesus died in our place as an act of grace.

We receive the benefit of that grace when we believe in Jesus.

Do you believe that Jesus died for you?

Though I think the Scriptures teach that it can be possible for a person to wander so far from the Lord that they can lose their salvation, I think it’s pretty clear that you have to wander pretty far and pretty long for this to happen.

I do not believe it’s a healthy thing for a believer to be thinking they need to get “saved” every Sunday.

God wants you to “believe” and be settled on it.

Yes, you will stumble and fall.  But ask God for forgiveness (not salvation) and get back up and keep going.

The apostle John wrote,

(1 John 5:11–13 NKJV) —11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

God doesn’t want you to wonder if you have eternal life.  He wants you to know.

Do you believe?  Then you have the Son.  If you have the Son, you have eternal life.

7:24-30 Jesus praises John

:24 When the messengers of John had departed, He began to speak to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?

:24 departedaperchomai – to go away, depart

:24 messengersaggelos – a messenger, envoy, one who is sen; an angel

This is the word often translated “angel” (179/186 times) in the New Testament.  It’s main idea is “messenger”.  An “angel” is a messenger from God.

:24 you go outexerchomai – to go or come forth of

:24 wildernesseremos – solitary, lonely, desolate, uninhabited; a desert, wilderness

:24 go out into the wilderness to see

Video:  Dead Sea from Qumran

This is looking at the Dead Sea from Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.
The area is all desert.
The people had to travel all the way into the desert if they wanted to hear John preach.

to seetheaomai – to behold, look upon, view attentively, contemplate (often used of public shows); of important persons that are looked on with admiration; to view, take a view of

John the Baptist didn’t preach in the city, he preached in the desert area near where the Jordan River empties into the Dead Sea.

He preached near the area known as Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.

We believe John was a part of the Essene community that lived in Qumran, in the desert wilderness by the Dead Sea.  This community practiced the Jewish ritual baths, known as mikvah (baptism).

:24 a reedkalamos – a reed; a staff made of a reed, a reed staff; a measuring reed or rod; a writer’s reed, a pen

:24 windanemos – wind, a violent agitation and stream of air; a very strong tempestuous wind

:24 shakensaleuo – a motion produced by winds, storms, waves, etc; to agitate or shake; to cause to totter

:24 A reed shaken by the wind?

The reed of Egypt and Palestine is a very tall cane, growing twelve feet high, and easily bent by the wind.

John didn’t bend his message just to please the people that were listening to him.  He spoke the truth.

:25 But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed those who are gorgeously appareled and live in luxury are in kings’ courts.

:25 you go outexerchomai – to go or come forth of

:25 softmalakos – soft, soft to the touch; metaph. in a bad sense; effeminate

:25 garmentshimation – a garment (of any sort); garments, i.e. the cloak or mantle and the tunic; the upper garment, the cloak or mantle

:25 clothedamphiennumi – to put on, to clothe

:25 appareledhimatismos – clothing, apparel

:25 gorgeouslyendoxos (“in” + “glory”) – glorious; splendid

Dressed in “glory”.

:25 luxurytruphe – softness, effeminate, luxurious living

Living in “luxury” may be a nice way to put it.

The word is also translated “carouse”, “revel”, or “evil pleasures” (NLT) in

(2 Peter 2:13 NKJV) and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you,

Living to party

:25 livehuparcho – to begin below, to make a beginning; to be

:25 kings’ courtsbasileion – the royal palace

:25 A man clothed in soft garments?

Matthew records,

(Matthew 3:4 NKJV) Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.

:26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.

:26 a prophetprophetes – someone who speaks for God.

:26 moreperissos – exceeding some number or measure or rank or need; over and above, more than is necessary

:26 But what did you go out to see?


The Book or the Cover

The old saying goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”.
And yet sometimes that’s exactly what we do.
We get caught up in the appearance of things rather than the content of things.
I’m watching this taking place as the presidential campaigns are beginning to ramp up.
Be careful that you don’t get so locked in to a candidate when all we’ve pretty much seen is the “cover” and haven’t really heard all that much “content” yet.
We can fall into the same trap when it comes to church.
We can become enamored by appearance, the sound of the music, the beauty of the facilities, or the coolness of the person speaking (all of which aren’t necessarily bad), and ignore the actual content of what is being taught.

Jesus is pointing out to His audience that they didn’t go out to listen to John because he was some ultra-slick cool guy.

John was very rough around the edges.
But he spoke the truth about God.

:27 This is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.’

:27 messengeraggelos – a messenger, envoy, one who is sent, an angel, a messenger from God

This is the word often translated “angel” (179/186 times) in the New Testament.  The word’s main idea is “messenger”.  An “angel” is a messenger from God.

This is the same word used to describe the messengers that John had sent to Jesus (vs. 24).

:27 I sendapostello (“apostle”) – to order (one) to go to a place appointed

:27 who will preparekataskeuazo – to furnish, equip, prepare, make ready; of one who makes anything ready for a person or thing; of builders, to construct, erect, with the included idea of adorning and equipping with all things necessary

:27 Who will prepare Your way

Jesus is quoting from Isaiah 40:3

(Isaiah 40:3 NKJV) The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God.
John’s ministry was about getting people “prepared” for the arrival of the Messiah.

:28 For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

:28 greatermeizon – greater, larger, elder, stronger

:28 leastmikros – small, little

The adjective is in the “comparative” form, meaning not just “small”, but “smaller”.

:28 there is not a greater prophet

Of all the prophets that ever lived, including men like Samuel, Elijah, and Isaiah, John is to be considered the greatest.

John is the one who would get the nation of Israel ready to be introduced to the Messiah, Jesus.

John is the one whose job was to get the people ready for the New Covenant.

:28 he who is least in the kingdom of God

John was the last prophet of the Old Covenant, the Law of Moses.

To be right with God under the Old Covenant, you not only needed to believe in God, you needed to take care of being right with God by yourself.
Every time you messed up, you needed to provide a sacrifice for your sins.

The New Covenant changed the method.

Instead of relying on you to provide the sacrifice, God Himself provided the sacrifice.
(John 3:16 NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
It was a better contract, one where your part is simply to believe.

When you believe in what Jesus has done for you, you become a citizen of the kingdom of God.

Your sins past, present, and future have been paid by the King Himself.
And even if you consider yourself the “least” in the kingdom, you are ahead of what John had under the Old Covenant.

:29 And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John.

:30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.

:30 the willboule – counsel, purpose

:30 rejectedatheteo – to do away with, to set aside, disregard; to thwart the efficacy of anything, nullify, make void, frustrate; to reject, to refuse, to slight

:30 the Pharisees and lawyers rejected

These Pharisees and lawyers are the most religious of all the Jews.

While the sinners were open to what John the Baptist had been preaching, the religious leaders were not.

The “lawyers” are not Harvard trained types, but men who are experts in the Law of Moses.

Warren Wiersbe suggests (and I agree) that these verses (29-30) are not an explanation by Luke about John, but are the words of Jesus, similar to what Jesus said to the religious people in,

(Matthew 21:32 NKJV) For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.

In other words, while Jesus is talking about how great John the Baptist was, then He goes on to say that when the people heard John, the tax collectors got baptized, but the religious people did not.

:29 the tax collectors justified God having been baptized

tax collectors telones – a tax gatherer, collector of taxes or tolls

These were Jewish men employed by Rome to collect taxes from their fellow Jews.  They typically were men who worked hard to cheat the common folk out of as much money as they could.
They were hated and considered the worst of all sinners.

justified God dikaioo –to declare or pronounce one to be just, righteous

The tax collectors declared that God was righteous and good when they heard John preaching because of how they responded to the teaching of John.
They responded by turning from their sins and getting baptized.

having been baptizedbaptizo – to immerse, to submerge; to cleanse by dipping or submerging

The verb is an aorist participle.  They had been baptized at a point in time in the past.


Show what you believe

When John baptized people in the Jordan River, they were responding to the message he had been preaching.
(Matthew 3:2 NKJV) and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

The word “repent” means to “turn around.  John was asking people to turn their lives around.  He was people to turn from their sins.

Baptism was a picture of a person’s sins being washed away as a result of their repentance.

It wasn’t a sprinkling with water, it was an immersion into water.

It was as if they got a new start in life.

Listen to what Peter said at the end of his message on the day of Pentecost and note how close it is to John the Baptist’s …
(Acts 2:37–38 NKJV) —37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Peter told the people to repent and be baptized.  That’s how they were to respond to the message about Jesus.

In four weeks we will be having our annual Baptism potluck extravaganza.  It’s a big time in the life of our church.  We will be having lots of food, a bounce house and giant water slide for the kids, and best of all – baptism.
We aren’t saved by being baptized, we are saved by our faith (Eph. 2:8-9)

(Ephesians 2:8–9 NKJV) —8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

But if we are saved, we ought to obey the Lord’s command to be baptized.  It’s a way of showing the world what has happened to you and that you have chosen to follow Jesus.
While John’s baptism just gave a picture of being “washed” from your sins, Jesus’ baptism goes a little further.

Christian baptism also involves identifying with what Jesus did for us.

Paul wrote in Romans 6 that when we are lowered into the water, it’s a picture that we have been “buried” in death with Christ.

When the pastor lifts you back up out of the water, it’s a picture that we have been raised from the dead with Christ.

Some of you were baptized as babies – and we appreciate your parents’ heart in doing this, but babies aren’t old enough to “believe” or “repent”.
So, if you have not been baptized since you came to believe in Jesus, then we invite you to come and be baptized!  Invite your family and friends to come – it’s a great time to talk about Jesus with them.

7:31-35 Fickle Folks

:31 And the Lord said, “To what then shall I liken the men of this generation, and what are they like?

:31 likenhomoioo – to be made like; to liken, compare; illustrate by comparisons

:31 generationgenea – fathered, birth, nativity; that which has been begotten, men of the same stock, a family; the whole multitude of men living at the same time; an age (i.e. the time ordinarily occupied by each successive generation), a space of 30-33 years

:32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, saying: ‘We played the flute for you, And you did not dance; We mourned to you, And you did not weep.’

:32 childrenpaidion – a young child, a little boy, a little girl

:32 marketplaceagora – any assembly, especially of the people; the place of assembly; market place, street

:32 callingprosphoneo – to call to, to address by calling; to call to one’s self, summon

:32 played the fluteauleo – to play on the flute, to pipe

:32 danceorcheomai – to dance

:32 mournedthreneo – to mourn, to lament; of singers of dirges, [to wail]; to bewail, deplore

:32 weepklaio – to mourn, weep, lament

:32 We played … We mourned …

The picture is that of children in the open air market running around and playing with each other. 

One group of children says, “Let’s play wedding party!” and they begin to play happy music, but the other group of children doesn’t want to play that. 
Another group of children says, “Let’s play funeral!” and they begin to pretend crying, but the other group doesn’t want to play that.

Jesus is saying that He and John the Baptist haven’t been playing the games that the people have been wanting them to play.

Nothing seems to satisfy these people.

It’s as if the people’s relationship with God is all about the games they are playing.

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

:34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’

:33 devildaimonion – the divine power, deity, divinity; evil spirits or the messengers and ministers of the devil

:34 gluttonousphagos – a voracious man, a glutton

:34 winebibberoinopotes – a winebibber, given to wine, a wino

:34 friendphilos – friend, to be friendly to one, wish him well

:34 eating and drinking

Jesus is saying to these people, “Nothing satisfies you!  John the Baptist lived a life of denial and fasting, and you said he was possessed.  I came and ate and drank with people, and you’ve called me a drunkard!”

:35 But wisdom is justified by all her children.”

:35 wisdom is justified by all her children

Solomon described wisdom as being like a woman who called out for men to follow her. (Prov. 8:1 – 9:12)

Jesus is saying that both He and John showed they were children of “wisdom” because they led their own unique lives the way God wanted them to.


Stop playing games

In the 1983 movie “WarGames”, a teenager hacks into the American nuclear missile command and thinks he’s found a computer who can play a game…
Video:  Wargames – Shall We Play A Game?

The problem was that it wasn’t a game.  The computer was trying to start a real thermonuclear war.

If coming to church or being a Christian is just a “game” to you, you’re not in a good place.  God doesn’t want to play games with you, He wants you to follow Him.
God has unique plans for each of our lives just as John and Jesus had different plans.
I don’t mean that what’s a sin for one person is okay for another – this is not about sin.

The people criticized Jesus and John about what they ate or didn’t eat.  Those aren’t sin issues.

The issue is about God’s unique plan for each of their lives.
Paul describes God’s plan for our lives as if we are all different parts of a big body.  Each body part has its own unique function.
(1 Corinthians 12:15–17 NKJV) —15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?

The problem is that sometimes we want to be like something we’re not designed to be.  We feel like we can’t be a part of God’s work unless we are like someone else.

This is about calling.
(Ephesians 2:10 NKJV) For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

God has specific things that He has for each of us.

These plans are based on who we are, our strengths, our personality, our talents, and our spiritual gifts.

God’s plan for John the Baptist was to get the people ready for Jesus by turning them from their sin, and he demonstrated that by a life of fasting and depravation.
God’s plan for Jesus was to pour out God’s grace on people.  He was to demonstrate God’s nature of grace, of giving to those who don’t deserve it.  His life was not about fasting, but about feasting.

Two different lives, two different lifestyles.

I think we will each spend our entire life learning more and more about God’s plan for our life as it unfolds.
Be careful that you are open to all that God wants YOU to be, not what He wants your friend to be.
Don’t play games with God’s plan for you.