Matthew 11

John the Baptist seeks reassurance 1
Miracles of healing witnessed 7
Unreasonable unbelief of the people 16
Truth rejected by the "wise" 25
Offer of rest and a new yoke 28
.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.   Their cities The disciples were from Galilee.
Inquiry by John the Baptist's disciples. Also Luke 7:18-23.
.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.

  1 - End of commanding When He finished teaching the twelve as recorded beginning at mt0936. The seminary course was much briefer than what we have today. This verse would be better as a concluding statement for that chapter.
  1 - Departed thence "Thence" means "from there." So He went to another area mt0936, lu1001.
  2 - John ... heard Sending his disciples to Jesus is also recorded in Luke lu0718.
Recognition of John the Baptist's ministry. Also Luke 7:24-35.
.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.
  7 - As they departed John's disciples didn't hear this powerful commendation. It would have neutralized the message he needed lu0723.
  8 - What ... see? John was sober and lived a simple life. "A preacher of the Gospel should have nothing about him which savours of effeminacy and worldly pomp: he is awfully mistaken who thinks to prevail on the world to hear him and receive the truth, by conforming himself to its fashions and manners.  Excepting the mere colour of his clothes, we can scarcely now distinguish a preacher of the Gospel, whether in the establishment of the country, or out of it, from the merest worldly man.  Ruffles, powder, and fribble seem universally to prevail.  Thus the Church and the world begin to shake hands, the latter still retaining its enmity to God.  How can those who profess to preach the doctrine of the cross act in this way?  Is not a worldly-minded preacher, in the most peculiar sense, an abomination in the eyes of the Lord?" (From Adam Clarke's commentary published in eight volumes 1810-1826).
  9 - More than a prophet The prophets of old saw the Messiah at a great distance but John saw Him and presented Him.
 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.
  15 - Ears Essentially all of us have ears and can hear physically. Jesus, no doubt, referred to spiritual attentiveness particularly to the truth He just stated. Compare mt1309, lu1435, re0207, is0609f.
.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.
Literary pattern
16 This generation is like insensitive people
   17 We have piped
      17 We have mourned
      18 John did not socialize - rejected
   19 Son of man socializes - rejected
20 Cities upbraided for not repenting

   Like a picture of our time, too. People tend to reject truth that they might be criticized for. Religion tends to be political and cultural.

.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.
  21 - Chorazin ... Bethsaida See the top edge of the Galilee map.
  21 - They would have repented The lesson is for us, too. The people of these towns apparently thought they knew all about proper religion and were not interested in the ideas of this new teacher. I'm not recommending that we follow every new teacher but we must be sure that what we know is not tradition that has no solid basis in the Bible.
.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.
   25 - Wise and prudent Those who identified themselves this way. This is courage for all of us. We can read the Word and pray for understanding as we turn away from sin.
   27 - My father Jesus claims to be the Messiah who, alone, can reveal the Father jn1509f, jn1702. Then (next three verses) He offers the Messianic rest je3101,2.
.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.
 12:1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, . . .
   28 - Come ... that labor What a magnificent promise! Our burdens often involve worry when we should trust God with the future. Notice the invitation to stop working and to rest. Could this invitation be to a Sabbath rest? See the note below. And from the verse above we see that Jesus shares His blessings of rest from the Father!
   29 - Take my yoke It is the yoke He offers compared to the yokes people make for themselves and, in the setting, to the yokes prescribed by the religious leaders lu1146. See mt2144.
   29 - Yoke From the times, this was a symbol of subjection imposed by a conquering king.
   30 - My yoke is easy Easy to wear once we take it. However entering through the gate requires dedicated effort lu1324. Of course He grants the power for both taking it and wearing it.
Jesus' invitation to rest
   The call of Jesus for us to lay down our burdens is a call of hope. Apparently the invitation was made on the Sabbath. This idea comes from two time phrases, "At that time." The first precedes Jesus' invitation. It is in v25 following scenes of doubt. The next time phrase comes right after the invitation and refers to the "time" as the Sabbath. The phrase links Christ's yoke with the abuse of the Sabbath which is seen in the Pharisees confronting Jesus about picking grain and eating it. The phrase, "at that time," also introduces the promise of rest from Jeremiah discussed above in v27 je3101. Read the text and comments above v28.
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