We had a lovely meal and lively Bible study together:
All quotes are from Jeffrey A. Crabtree, The Randall House Bible Commentary: Matthew.
When Jesus told John’s disciples to tell John about His ministry, He was really saying He was fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecies about the Messiah:
He was saying that the Kingdom had arrived.
The healing and preaching ministry of Jesus was what the Messiah was going to do. Jesus was providing proof of His Messiahship.
“We are blessed when we accept the present realities of the kingdom, even when these realities are not what we expect.”
Jesus said in Matthew 11:10 that john was the fulfillment of Malachi 3:1. See Exodus 23:20. “John was Malachi’s messenger, Jesus was Malachi’s Lord (Malachi 4:5).”
John dressed like Elijah (Matthew 3:4, 2 Kings 1:8).
He wore the clerical robe of the Old Testament prophet (Zechariah 13:4).
Matthew 11:12 “The kingdom is forcefully advancing; violent people plunder it.” (Matthew 16:18)
John was the end of the Law and Prophets Era and the beginning of the Messianic Era.
He fulfilled Malachi 4:5, (Luke 1:17, Matthew 17:12)
Similarities between John the Baptist and Elijah:
- Wore prophet’s clothing (2 Kings 1:8)
- Preached with passion (1 Kings 18:18-21)
- Stood against sin (I Kings 21:17-24)
- Had Divine anointing (1 Kings 18:21, 24)
- Were men of prayer and fasting (1 Kings 18:36, 1 Kings 19:8)
- Were persecuted by wicked rulers and their wives (1 Kings 18:10, 19:2-3)
Jesus calls us to a decision in Matthew 11:15.
“Isaiah had prophesied that this portion of the nation would be favored with great spiritual light in Isaiah 9:1-7. Jesus was that Light (Isaiah 42:6, John 8:12), but the people refused His message and the many signs that were intended to validate Him as the Light.”
Jesus was saying “Shame on you,” to the cities that had the witness of both John and Jesus in person. “The greatest sin is willful rejection of Jesus.”
After rebuking the cities for their rejection of Him, He begins to pray openly to the Father. Although normally “wise and prudent” would be a compliment, in this case Jesus is talking about self-righteous pride. When He speaks about babes, He is referring to the humility one must have to embrace faith, repentance, and become part of the Kingdom.
Now He extends an open invitation to all who are weary, meaning “weary from work,” and those who are heavily laden, meaning “carrying or bearing a load.
Jesus employs a farm example in His invitation:
A yoke was a working instrument that two oxen would wear. Usually a new ox was paired with an experienced ox. The bigger ox helped the newer ox by leading and by bearing the biggest part of the load.
Here Jesus offers us rest for our souls by shouldering the burden with us and leading us, if we take His yoke. We don’t have to worry about the results. We just have to walk beside Him and follow His lead. It is a working relationship, so although we are resting in our souls, we are still at work with Him. He offers us peace.
See Jeremiah 6:16.
See Psalm 1:1-6.