Jesus and the twelve went out separately to preach in all the cities of the region.
Matthew 11:1 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.
John having been in prison since near the baptism of Christ, sent to inquire concerning the news he was hearing. How did Jesus respond? Did he make some claim to a title? or did he point to the fruits of his ministry as evidence of his mission?
Today many people have made false claims about themselves that they are prophets or apostles, in order to impress and to deceive many to follow them astray from their zeal for God. Just as Jesus warned us would happen in the Ekklesia in (Mat 24).
11:2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 11:3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? 11:4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: 11:5 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.
11:6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
When John asked if Jesus was the Christ, Jesus did not make any boastful claims; instead he pointed to the fruits of his ministry!
How very unlike the boastful braggarts in the church of God today, who feel the need to loudly proclaim themselves apostles and prophets; WITHOUT any fruits of that calling! In order to impress or intimidate people to follow themselves as idols of men, away from any zeal to keep the Word of God!
11:7 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? 11:8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.
Jesus here points out that John was not a worldly great man, dressed in the finest and demanding the finest and chief seat for himself; John Baptist was a poor and humble man of God.
11:9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. 11:10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
Christ identifies John with Elijah in Malachi 4:5. Malachi plainly says that Elijah will come before the day of the Lord; therefore John came before Christ at his first coming, and another in the same spirit of Elijah will appear before Christ’s return.
Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
Matthew 11:11 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 [That is, he that is changed to spirit will be greater than he who is in the flesh] is greater than he.
Here Christ is saying that it is not the importance of a person in this life that matters; it is whether they please God and are chosen and changed to spirit and given the gift of eternal life; which is the important thing.
Today people make a big deal about claims of apostleship or of being prophets; I tell you that the prophet is NOTHING, and the apostle is NOTHING but mere men. They wake and sleep, they eat and eliminate, they are tempted and are passionate men; Just like everyone else!
The men are NOT important! It is the MESSAGE of truth that IS important!
We ought not to be awed by claims of such offices! We are commanded to prove out such claims by the Holy Scriptures!
Even then we are to consider that the men are only messengers; and it is the MESSAGE that is important; and that HE who SENDS the message is far more important that he who delivers the message!
Yes, we can be impressed by the deeds of such men of God, but that should never distract us from the fact that Almighty God provided the understanding, the inspiration, the very message; and the conversion and the gift of faith to those men.
NEVER let your respect and love for a man, replace the respect and love for God that should be your chief joy!
11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence [is persecuted], and the violent [the wicked attack the faithful] take it by force.
From the ministry of John, as John prepared the way for Christ by calling all to sincere repentance on a spiritual level according to the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31; to replace the old Mosaic Covenant Kingdom of Israel. Which New Covenant then officially began by the advent of Jesus Christ, and the sacrifice and resurrection of the Lamb of God. From then on the spiritually zealous to keep the whole Word of God in the letter and in the spirit; have been persecuted and attacked in this world, because they are not of this world.
11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
The prophets prophesied of Christ and the New Covenant Kingdom of God until John and with the coming of John, the lamb of God also came to confirm the prophets and the New Covenant with his death and resurrection.
11:14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. 11:15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Jesus then points out that the people hear the words, but do not act on them, do not keep them are like people hearing music and not dancing! The people hear and do not act on what they hear.
This is a quote from a prophecy of Messiah the Christ from:
Ezekiel 33:31 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.
33:32 And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.
33:33 And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.
Matthew 11:16 But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, 11:17 And saying, We have piped [made music] unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.
Today’s generation is like those children who are NOT joining in and following the Word of God; we are NOT following the lead of Christ!
We are not responding to God’s instructions and commandments. Christ is calling and we are NOT responding; Christ has given his instructions and we are not doing anything about them. Like the children; Christ has played the song and we have refused to dance!
No matter what is done the religious establishment of that day and of today, will reject the true message by rejecting the messenger.
11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. 11:19 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.
We reject the message regardless of the messenger!
11:20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: 11:21 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.
It will be better for the extremely wicked who repent; then for the elders and leaders of today who reject any zeal for the Word of God in favor of their own ways; refusing to repent and follow the Word of God; and then calling themselves godly!
11:22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
11:23 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. 11:24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
We claim to have God’s Spirit and to be a godly people, we act as if we are the greatest Christians since the creation; yet we have exalted ourselves and our traditions above all that is called God; refusing to follow our espoused Husband’s leadership.
Jesus then thanks God the Father for revealing spiritual things to the humble and faithful; while keeping them from the proud and self exalting.
11:25 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. 11:26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
God the Father cannot be know except the Son reveal him; and no man may come o the Son unless he is called to him by the Father.
11:27 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.
Those who are wise in their own conceit and think they know it all and have need of nothing (Rev 3); will not understand God or his Word; for such understanding is given to the contrite of spirit, the humble and repentant man!
James 4:6 Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Mathew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest [from bondage to sin]. 11:29 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. 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
The commandments of God are easy and light; they are made to SEEM difficult because of the persecution that Satan inspires. It is Satan’s ways that are harsh and result in suffering, decay and death. God’s law liberates us from Satan and his ways of death;
James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
The blessings of peace, happiness, joy and life eternal; come through sincere repentance and faithful obedience to God’s Blessed Law of Liberty from bondage to sin!