AM January 16th Matthew 11

January 16th Matthew 11

John seeks confirmation

1: And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities. 2: Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 3: And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? 4: Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: 5: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6: And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. 7: And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? 8: But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. 9: But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. 10: For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 11: Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12: And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. 13: For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14: And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. 15: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 16: But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, 17: And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. 18: For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. 19: The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

Woes to the cities

20: Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: 21: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22: But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. 23: And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24: But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

Come to me

25: At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26: Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27: All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. 28: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30: For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

The Apostles set out on their Evangelistic tours. And at this time John sends two of his disciples to Christ with a message. Was John’s faith failing? I doubt it; I think John was seeking further confirmation of the success of his public recognition of Christ. He is seeking confirmation of Christ’s Messianic signs. Christ tells John’s disciples to go and tell him that they have seen six Messianic signs. 1. The blind receive their sight, (That is those blind from birth) 2. The lame walk, (That is those who have never walked) 3. The lepers are cleansed, (An unknown thing in Israel) 4. The deaf hear, (This is probably referring to the deaf and dumb demon possessed), 5. The dead are raised up, (This was considered impossible after four days) 6. The poor have the gospel preached to them. (Nobody preached to the poor!) These six signs were known by the Rabbis as ‘Messianic signs’ or signs that only the Messiah would be able to do. When John’s disciples had gone, Christ spoke of the greatness of John. He describes him as the greatest prophet ever born. Then Christ speaks about the fickle multitudes. The multitudes are frustrated with Christ because he did not dance to their tune. Then Christ began to upbraid the cities in which his might works were done. He says that they had been so privileged in seeing his mighty works that even Sodom would have repented at seeing Christ’s works. Then Christ breaks into a hymn of praise to the Father who hides these truths from the wise but who reveals it unto children. Then lastly he gives his General call to Israel. ‘Come unto me. All ye who labour and are heavy laden and l will give you rest’. (This is the subject of the book of Hebrews) Christ is calling on Israel to come to him and find their rest in him. He says take my yoke upon you and learn of me etc. Christ is calling on Israel to forsake their hard law keeping and to come under the discipleship of his Messianic authority. In Christ they would find a spiritual transformation, bringing a light burden and an easy yoke. (An easy yoke is one that does not rub the skin)

  • Why do you think that John requested confirmation of Christs messianic mission?
  • What signs of his messianic authority did Christ send back to John?
  • What did Jesus mean when he called on Israel to come to him?

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