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This picture of John is very full of pathos-from the high triumph of inspired preaching to the solitude and loneliness of a prison. John made as direct application to Jesus as his circumstances permitted. Surely the wisest course possible. Jesus answered him not by verbal assurance, but by the deeds of the Kingdom. The credentials of Christ are ever to be found in His actual works.
The fickleness and worthlessness of public opinion has striking exemplification here. In the ordinary manner of life, Jesus and John were contrasts. The one was a stem ascetic, living in the simplest fashion; the Other was a Man of the people, living in the ordinary way. The first they said had a devil; the Master they charged with gluttony and drunkenness. There is but one thing for any who are called to public service, that is, to go straight on, undeviating in loyalty to God, and deaf to the voices around, knowing that at last "Wisdom is justified by her works."
Christ upbraiding the cities! It seems so contrary to His spirit of love and gentleness, but it is not so. Why does He thus reproach them? "Because they repented not." They persisted in rebellion, and that in spite of the manifestations of His power. There is, then, a condition more deeply degraded, more hopeless, than that of Sodom. The sin against light is far more terrible in itself, and more awful in its results, than sins committed in darkness. Capernaum's rejection of the Son of God is infinitely worse than Sodom's bestiality.
From reproach of cities, the Master turned to prayer. The use of the word "answered" is suggestive, revealing the perpetual fact of communion existing between Christ and God. The note of praise was the response of Christ's heart to the secret of Jehovah.
From prayer He turned back to the crowd with words full of sweetest pity and divinest power. He claims knowledge of the Father, which can be gained only by those to whom He willeth to reveal the Father. And while we pause and wonder who the favored ones will be, there breaks on our listening ears the sweetest of all music. He calls all who labor and are heavy laden, and promises to give them rest by so revealing the Father that to do His will will be the delight of life, the light burden, the easy yoke.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Matthew 11". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent