Text: Matthew 11
John questions Jesus Christ about being the Messiah and the Lord answers him in verses 1-6. Everything Jesus says in Matthew 11 revolves around the question posed at the beginning of the chapter by John, are you the one or do we look for another?
John the Baptist is the greatest man, but Jesus Christ who is the greater is now here (vss 7-15)
- Sarcasm in verses 7-9
- Now, the way the Lord points out that John is the messenger is first through a little sarcasm. What went ye out to see? What were you looking for? Look you know you didn’t go out into the wilderness to watch the grass blow in the breeze. You went out into the wilderness to see a prophet of God so disconnected from the world that he was a spectacle.
- You didn’t go out to see some well off guy hanging out. You came out here to see something you’ve never seen before in John the Baptist.
- You didn’t just come out to the Jordan river to hear a preacher preach. You came out here because John the Baptist is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
- Scriptures in verses 10-15
- Then the Lord quotes Malachi 3:1 in verse 10. And says that messenger is the greatest man that ever lived. But, nevertheless, in spite of that fact that John the Baptist is the greatest man that ever lived, there is someone greater here.
- This kingdom of heaven being the person of Jesus Christ needs a little illustrating. Just as the ambassador of a nation represents his own nation in a foreign country, Jesus Christ represents Heaven’s kingdom on the earth. Now let’s apply that to Christ. He is the representative from heaven. He came from a country that these men can’t invade. But they can violently persecute the ambassador of Heaven and therefore declare war on Heaven.
- Why does Jesus Christ call himself the least in the kingdom of heaven? Because of Hebrews 2:7 and Philippians 2:6-9.
- God’s kingdom is fully represented by Jesus Christ and from the time John the Baptist prepared the way for him, Jesus Christ was persecuted.
He’s the Son of man to an unreachable people (vss 16-24)
- The Lord points out the hypocrisy of the generation by showing them two extremes which they ignored.
- The pipers piped but you wouldn’t dance. You complained they aren’t serious enough.
- Then the mourners mourned but you wouldn’t mourn either. Because you said they were too serious.
- Jesus is just pointing out this group of people are full of excuses.
- They say they’re looking for the Messiah, they’re looking for God in the flesh, but they aren’t looking for the Son of God because when the forerunner showed up they said he had a devil because he was so antisocial. Then when the Son of God showed up right after that they said he’s a sinner because He’s too social. Jesus Christ making the point that the people are full of excuses. It had nothing to do with how John acted or how Jesus acted, these people are not going to accept the kingdom of heaven and its ambassador.
- Phrase BUT wisdom is justified of her children simply means while these type of people are going to make excuses no matter what, the real children will justify God no matter what. The real children of the kingdom aren’t looking for a reason not to believe, they are looking for a reason to give God and his wisdom the benefit of the doubt.
- Therefore judgment will be poured out according to verses 20-24; the Lord Jesus Christ says when His kingdom comes, the kingdom of heaven, these places that have rejected heaven’s ambassador will be consumed in fire.
- God’s mighty works were unconvincing to these people, but had other nations been giving these opportunities they would’ve survived.
- Capernaum is Jesus’ home area which is why he says what he says in verse 23.
He’s the Son of the Father to a reachable people (vss 25-30)
- In verses 25-27 the Lord explains how wisdom is justified of her children found in verse 19. These children are the real children of the kingdom. Matthew 18:3 and John 3:3-6.
- They will not make excuses like the wicked generation did when confronted with wisdom. The wise children will justify the wisdom that’s set before them.
- Jesus Christ even says He is the Son to the Father and because of that relationship He has the work of the Father revealed to Him.
- John 15:14-17
- Whoever else will repent of their sin and trust the Lord Jesus Christ, they will be children of God who have the Father’s will revealed to them too. That’s what verse 25 says.
- In verses 28-30 once again reminding those around him that he is the Messiah. And yes, He is the one in response to John’s question. Are you the one? Yes, come unto me and I will give you rest unto your soul.
- Now watch how these words apply to John the Baptist and Elijah. John questioned whether Christ was the one and Jesus responded with comfort and assurance that He is the one. John is also an acceptable fulfilment of Elijah. There are several similarities between these men. They are both isolated and antisocial. They have very little connection to the world. They wear rough clothes. Their diets come from the wilderness where they live. John and Elijah both hit low points in their ministry. Elijah ends up under a juniper tree ready to die because he questions whether or not his ministry has had any effect. John is sitting in prison questioning whether his ministry has been right. Both are comforted and both are reassured by the Lord that their ministries are exactly what the Lord wanted. Consider these men in their low points of ministry and now read the last words of Jesus Christ in this chapter in verses 28-30.
- Rest is determined by who you’re working for – Take my yoke upon you
- You must take Jesus’ yoke upon you. The last thing in the world that you need right now is more to do. How can you take on more and get rest? The answer is that to take his yoke you have to put off your own.
- People get the idea that they can carry their own yoke and then come to him to get rest from him. It doesn’t work like that. You get out of the hard yoke of bondage and put on his easy yoke in its place, not on top of it.
- Some of you are just working for Pharaoh like the Jews in hard bondage in Egypt and you’re finding there is no rest in Pharaoh’s business. You can’t keep up with your covetousness, greed, wants, and desires. And you’ve taught your kids how to be slaves to this type of bondage. It’s time to change bosses.