Matthew 11:1-30

Matthew 11:1-30

Matthew 11:1-6 – When they left Yeshua continued His ministry. John the Baptist’s disciples came to Him with a question from John “Are you the “Expected One”? Jesus was not turning out to be the kind of Messiah that Israel was expecting. The were looking for a political and military Messiah who would liberate Israel from the yoke of Rome. The Rabbi’s described the prophets vision as Messiah ben David (son of David).

The Scriptures and the Rabbi’s also described Messiah ben Joseph, a suffering deliverer like Joseph the beloved son of Jacob.  Jesus fulfilled Messiah ben Joseph in his first coming when he was betrayed by his brothers and became their deliverer. In His second coming Yeshua will fulfill the prophetic vision of Messiah ben David. 

John the Baptist who was now locked in Herod’s prison was starting to wonder if he was correct if Yeshua was the promised Messiah. Where was the judgment of the wicked? Isaiah 61:1-2. Jesus’ response is almost an allusion to Isaiah 61 which speak of the kingdom not of this world that form the elements of life in the era of the church; in the world but not of it.  

Matthew 11:7-11 A reed swaying in the wind was an allusion to a person whose philosophy is easily changed. John on the other hand was firm in his convictions. John also was not dressed in soft clothing; instead, he wore the garments of Elijah  1 Kings 1:8. Jesus declared that the reason flocked to John in the desert was because he was in fact a prophet as Matthew 11:9 tells us. 

The last prophet who is recorded in Scripture lived 400 years earlier, Malachi. Jesus then declares that John was more, not just one calling Israel to repentance but one of who the prophets foretold would come. He is referring to Malachi 3:1,4:5-6Isaiah 40:3. While John is the greatest of the Old Covenant prophets, those who are least in the Kingdom are greater. This helps us to understand that those who enter the kingdom are no longer under tutors but are sons Galatians 4:1-7.

Matthew 11:12-14 -The Kingdom of heaven refers to the rule of God over man. The word violence can be passive meaning that those proclaiming the kingdom were the objects of violence from those opposing it. We continue to see this reality to the present day. John was in jail soon to be killed and soon also the King himself would be put to death. However there is a positive sense of these words as well. The kingdom was forcibly advancing against violent men and the kingdom of darkness. “All the prophets and the Law prophesied until John”. This refers to the idea understood by the Orthodox that all the Law and the Prophets were written for the days of Messiah. Jesus declared that if you can accept it John was Elijah who was to come. That is he is the one foretold by Malachi. But because Israel did not accept the message of John, they still go to the door today on Passover hoping that he is there to tell them of the Messiah. Some believe that John or Elijah of the office of Elijah is one of the two witnesses spoken of in Revelation 11:1-19.

Matthew 11:16-19 –Yeshua reflects on his audience as those who would never be satisfied with the messengers God sent to them. When John came neither eating nor drinking and having nothing to do with any who were unholy, they thought he had a demon. When Yeshua did just the opposite, they accused Him of being a drunk and a glutton, and a friend of sinners. Yeshua ends with a saying that suggests His actions demonstrated his credentials.

Matthew 11:20-23 – Jesus rebukes those cities where His miracles were done and where His call and words were ignored. King Josiah recognized how repugnant it was to ignore the Words of God in 2 Kings 22:13

The word “endure” or “stand firm” in the NIV version in the original Greek meant to be able to stay under or to bear through trials. From both Old and New Testament usage of this word we get an idea of what it means to persevere in our faith. We do not earn our salvation by enduring, we rather prove our faith. Theologically this is called “perseverance”, and our perseverance is a demonstration of genuine faith.

It is how we react during trials and persecution that demonstrate the reality of our faith. James tells us that we are blessed when trials come James 1:2-4. However, in Matthew 11:23 the disciples are told not to endure persecution if it can be avoided. When Paul experienced heavy opposition, he was told to move on Acts 13:40ff.

Matthew 11:25-30 – God does not keep the Gospel from the wise and intelligent but from those who think that they are in their own eyes. When we take God’s gift of intelligence and wisdom to live for ourselves rather than serving our Master, we lose sight of God’s plans and will for our lives.

Consider Solomon whose wisdom and intelligence became self-indulgent and led to Israel being divided. He lost sight of God’s will for His life. The Book of Ecclesiastes is a chronicle of Solomon’s vanity folly the results it brought to his life. It will help us to understand that a cricformed life informed by God’s Word and Spirit reveal the things that lead to wisdom and life 1 Corinthians 2:1. In Matthew 11:27 Yeshua claims a unique and special relationship with “My Father.” This is yet again a reference to the unique position Jesus had with the Father.

Come to me – While it is true that it is God who sovereignly calls man to Himself, we at the same time must come to Him. All who are weary, is like the scenario of those dying in the wilderness when bitten by serpents, they had to accept that they were dying and then look to the uplifted serpent (Numbers 21:9). We must come to the Lord realizing that we are unable to help ourselves. It is only as we lose our lives that we can find it and experience God’s rest (Sabbath). Consider Hebrews 3-4 Psalm 95:7ff for a complete understanding of God’s rest.

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