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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Matthew 11

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

Matthew 11:1 — Conclusion - Matthew 11:1 serves as a transitional statement.

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.

Matthew 11:1Comments- Matthew 11:1 is the second of five verses in the Gospel of Matthew that closes a lengthy discourse. Each of these five lengthy discourses ends with the similar phrase, "when Jesus had finished these sayings (or parables)," giving these five sections a common division.

Matthew 7:28-29, "And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes."

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."

Matthew 13:53, "And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence."

Matthew 19:1, "And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan;"

Matthew 26:1, "And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples,"

Thus, each of these five discourses is separated with large sections of narrative material, with the discourses being interwoven between the narratives. Each section of narrative material relates to and prepares us for the next discourse.

Matthew 11:1Comments - Matthew 4:23; Matthew 11:1 provide the same description of the office and ministry of the Teacher, one of the five-fold offices of the New Testament Church, which is to preach the Gospel, teach God's Word concerning the Gospel, and to heal the sick in demonstration of the Gospel. While Matthew 11:1 does not mention the healing aspect, the verses that follow make references to the works of Christ ( Matthew 11:2) and to the many types of healing miracles that Jesus and His disciples performed ( Matthew 11:5).

Matthew 4:23, "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people."


Verses 2-24

The Rejection of the Testimonies of John and Jesus (God's Testimony to Man's Heart) ( Luke 7:18-35) - In Matthew 11:2-24 Jesus uses the occasion of John the Baptist's doubt regarding His own public ministry ( Matthew 11:2-6) to explain how many people have rejected the testimonies of John and Himself ( Matthew 11:7-19). He then rebukes those cities that rejected Him ( Matthew 11:20-24).

Outline: Here is a proposed outline:

1. Jesus Explains the Rejection of the Gospel — Matthew 11:2-19

2. Jesus Rebukes the Cities that Reject Him — Matthew 11:20-24

Matthew 11:2-19 — Jesus Explains the Rejection of the Gospel - In Matthew 11:2-19 Jesus uses the occasion of John the Baptist's disciples bringing a message from him that questioned His public ministry ( Matthew 11:2-6) to explain how He and John have been rejected by Israel ( Matthew 11:7-19). Having seen the popularity of Jesus' public ministry soar among the multitudes in the previous narrative section ( Matthew 8-9), and having sent out the Twelve to minister among the people with a warning of rejection and persecutions to come, Jesus now explains that many cities have rejected His message of healing and redemption.

The Humanity of John - In Matthew 11:1-6 the disciples of John the Baptist come to Jesus with a message from their teacher about the integrity of Jesus' ministry. This story reveals the humanity of the greatest men of God. John had prophesied under the anointing as he baptized the Lord Jesus and introduced Him to the world. Now during a time of darkness John begins to question his own prophecies as well as the identity of Jesus Christ.

The Transition of Themes Reflected in the Story of the John's Doubt - The Gospel of Matthew makes a transition in its thematic scheme from an emphasis upon divine service to perseverance against offenses as Jesus is declares to the disciples of John the Baptist the miracles performed by Himself and His disciples. 438]

438] Christopher R. Smith, "Literary Evidences of a FiveFold Structure in the Gospel of Matthew ," in New Testament Studies 43 (1997): 549-550.

Matthew 11:2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,

Matthew 11:2 — "Now when John had heard in the prison" - Comments - Josephus tells us that John the Baptist was imprisoned in the fortified castle located at Macherus, saying, "Accordingly he [John the Baptist] was sent a prisoner, out of Herod's suspicious temper, to Macherus, the castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death." (Antiquities 1852) A description of the fortification of Macherus is given by Josephus in Wars 761and is believed to be located east of the Dead Sea approximately in line with Bethlehem.

"the works of Christ" - Comments - The Synoptic Gospels begin their account of Jesus' public ministry after the imprisonment of John the Baptist ( Matthew 4:12. Mark 1:14, Luke 3:19-21). This implies that Jesus did the majority of His public miracles after John's imprisonment, so that John did not witness these miracles. He only heard about them while in prison.

Matthew 4:12, "Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;"

Mark 1:14, "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,"

Luke 3:19-21, "But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip"s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison. Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,"

Matthew 11:3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?

Matthew 11:3Comments - John the Baptist had no Old Testament Scriptures to predict his imprisonment. Thus, it would have been easy to question the success of his own public ministry while under the stress of imprisonment. He now sends two of his disciples to reconfirm his faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah. In other words, John the Baptist began to doubt the words of Jesus Christ. Andrew Wommack notes how God had given John a sign from heaven to confirm Jesus as the Messiah as the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove ( John 1:33). John also heard the audible voice from heaven say, "This is my beloved Son. In You I am well pleased." ( Matthew 3:17, Luke 3:22) Thus, John had both an audible sign and a visible sign in order to believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Yet, even after the sign, John doubted Jesus' Words. Several events could have nurtured this doubt. First, the negative circumstances that John the Baptist faced over a prolonged period of time of being in prison led to his doubt, something that happens to Christians as well. Secondly, many of the Jews believed that the Messiah could come and accomplish all biblical prophecies at the first advent. They had no understanding of the fact that Jesus would return to earth twice as the Messiah. Thus, John may have been disappointed in the fact that Jesus had made no political statements of throwing off Roman rule, and even delivering John from prison. 439]

439] Andrew Wommack, "Effortless Change: Overcoming Doubt," Andrew Wommack Ministries, Colorado Springs, Colorado [on-line]; accessed 22March 2012; available from http://www.awmi.net/extra/audio/1018; Internet.

John 1:33, "And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the sae is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost."

Matthew 11:4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:

Matthew 11:4Comments - In Luke's account of this story, Jesus performs these miracles after the disciples of John arrive. Luke writes, "And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight." ( Luke 7:21) Then, Jesus tells the disciples of John to go tell him what they had seen and heart.

Matthew 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.

Matthew 11:5Comments - Although Jesus proclaimed John's greatness to the crowd after the disciples of John the Baptist had departed, He gave a different message for them to take back to John. Jesus directed these disciples to the testimony of miracles. More importantly, Jesus directed these disciples to the fact that He was fulfilling Old Testament prophecies. Scholars refer to passages in Isaiah 29, 35 that suggest Jesus was paraphrasing from the prophecies of Isaiah. Andrew Wommack uses this passage to teach that words of praise may inflate our emotions temporarily, but the Word of God speaks to our hearts and strengthens us indefinitely. Jesus directed John the Baptist back to the Word of God as the source of a sure foundation for his troubled faith in the Messiah. Although the Lord may speak to us in various ways, the highest way that God speaks to His children is through His Word. 440]

440] Andrew Wommack, "John the Baptist," in the series "A Sure Foundation," [on-line]; accessed on 4January 2010; available at http://www.awmi.net/podcasts/television/MP 3Audio; Internet.

Isaiah 29:18, "And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness."

Isaiah 35:5-6, "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert."

In essence, Jesus was responding to John's question by directing him back to the integrity of God's Word, the fact that God's Word will never fail. Jesus wanted John to put his faith in the Holy Scriptures and not in his dire circumstances. In the same way, Jesus responded to the disappointment and doubt of the two on the road to Emmaus by teaching them about the certainty of the fulfillment of God's Word ( Luke 24:13-31).

Matthew 11:6 And blessed is Hebrews , whosoever shall not be offended in me.

Matthew 11:6Comments - In Matthew 11:6 Jesus refers to those who are offended by the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven, a statement that reflects the next theme of perseverance in the Kingdom. The narrative section of Matthew 11-12preceding the third major discourse testifies of those who were offended; for Jesus rebukes the cities that refused to repent at the preaching of the Gospel ( Matthew 11:20-24), and He corrects the Pharisees who are offended by His deeds ( Matthew 12:1-14; Matthew 12:22-45)

Matthew 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?

Matthew 11:7Comments- John the Baptist was characterized by his uncompromising proclamation of repentance, as well as his zeal and dedication to God. For example, he rebuked King Herod for his iniquities and was beheaded for this uncompromising statement. Jesus uses the illustration of a reed shaken with the wind contrast John's character with something that continually moves in nature. The gentle breezes from the lakes and rivers continually blow, and keep the reeds never the shores in continual motion.

Matthew 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.

Matthew 11:8Comments- John the Baptist was not only uncompromising, but he exhibited the greatest of zeal for serving the Lord in that he was willing to preach and live on the bare necessities of life in order to fulfill His calling. In contrast, the rich, fat, corrupt men of society, who has robbed the poor, lived in big, comfortable houses, and wore luxurious clothing.

Matthew 11:9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.

Matthew 11:9Comments - John the Baptist was more than a prophet in the sense his prophetic office was the fulfillment of Old Testament Scripture, a unique aspect to the office of the Old Testament prophet.

Matthew 11:10 For this is Hebrews , of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

Matthew 11:10Comments - Jesus cites Malachi 3:1, "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts."

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 is greater than he.

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" - Comments- John's greatness above other prophets is that he was the fulfilling of prophecy, as Jesus has mentioned in the previous verse ( Matthew 11:10). No other prophet was the fulfilling of Old Testament Scripture in regards to the coming of the Messiah like John the Baptist. Andrew Wommack explains how John was the only individual in biblical history that was filled with the Holy Spirit before he was born. He spent thirty years preparing for his own public appearance, and in six months he shook the nation of Israel, ushering in one of the greatest revivals the nation has ever known. 441]

441] Andrew Wommack, "Effortless Change: Overcoming Doubt," Andrew Wommack Ministries, Colorado Springs, Colorado [on-line]; accessed 22March 2012; available from http://www.awmi.net/extra/audio/1018; Internet.

Mike Stevens says that success displays our identity. 442] In other words, a rich man is identified with his wealth ( Matthew 11:8), an athlete is identified with his particular sport, a professional is identified as a doctor, lawyer, etc. The success of John the Baptist's ministry was displayed by his uncompromising zeal for God, which was displayed by his willingness to rebuke a king, and his willingness to live in poverty in order to live a holy life and preach to the multitudes of Jews. He was appeared as the least wealthy in society, but he sought the Kingdom of Heaven above all else.

442] Mike Stevens, "Sermon," Victory City Church, Kampala, Uganda, 5 September 2009.

"notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he" - Comments- The Church has been called to a similar role in being the forerunner of Jesus' Second Coming, and thus, fulfilling Old Testament prophecy. The church's place with the Father and its work on earth is a position far greater than anyone under the old covenant could stand in. God created the earth and put man on it to walk in dominion and authority. The church has a greater role in the fulfillment of God's command to take dominion than even John the Baptist.

In addition, the Church has greatness over John the Baptist in that it has been given the use of the name of Jesus, walking in equal authority as the Messiah ( Ephesians 1:22).

Ephesians 1:22, "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,"

Note how much authority God gave Jeremiah in Matthew 1:9-10 through speaking God's Word.

Jeremiah 1:9-10, "Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant."

Matthew 11:11Comments - Matthew 11:11 describes the greatness of John the Baptist's physical, natural birth among mankind, then contrasts it to the superior spiritual birth characteristic of everyone who becomes a part of the Kingdom of Heaven.

The message of John the Baptist was the greatest prophetic proclamation to date in redemptive history, thus his greatness among men. However, the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ ushered in a far greater announcement, since it is the fulfillment of all prior Old Testament prophecies. These two proclamations are described using similes in Matthew 11:16-19 when Jesus compares the message of John the Baptist and Himself to children playing in the market. John the Baptist proclaimed a time of repentance and godly sorrow. Jesus came with the good news that caused much rejoicing.

Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

Matthew 11:12 — "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence" - Word Study on "suffereth violence" - Thayer translates this phrase, "The kingdom of heaven is taken by violence, or carried by storm" (see βίαζω).

"and the violent take it by force" - Comments - The antecedent of the feminine personal pronoun "it" is "the kingdom" (of Heaven). The violent take hold of the Kingdom of Heaven by much force and zeal. A share in the heavenly kingdom is sought for with the most ardent zeal and intense exertion. We are to strive to obtain its privileges with the utmost eagerness and effort ( Luke 16:16, 1 Peter 4:18).

Luke 16:16, "The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it."

1 Peter 4:18, "And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"

Satan is working in this world violently to take all he can get, even bringing souls into bondage. Thus, we have to get violent back against Satan, fight against him. In order to take possession of things on earth, we fight for souls of men, we pray in the spirit, we use the authority of Jesus' name to take back from Satan all he has robbed. There are many verses in Bible on spiritual warfare. Satan is likened to strong man in Luke 11:21-22, but in Jesus name, we are stronger that he and therefore, we can take his goods.

Matthew 11:12Comments - The context of Jesus' statement in Matthew 11:12 is His explanation to the people of why a righteous man like John the Baptist is suffering in prison. The proclamation of the Gospel brings conflict, and those who decide to follow Jesus will suffer persecution. This is a stormy time of redemptive history as a transition is made from the old covenant to the new. Many will rise up to oppose this transition. One must make a determined decision to become a child of the Kingdom of Heaven in the midst of opposition, which is the context of this narrative section ( Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 12:50).

John the Baptist preached repentance and his preaching began to bring souls out of the powers of Satan. For the first time in the history of mankind, the kingdom of darkness faced a major challenge. This battle intensified during Jesus" ministry here on earth, throughout the book of Acts , and on into the church age. This battle will eventually result in the kingdom of God covering the whole earth.

Matthew 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

Matthew 11:13Comments - John the Baptist was the last individual to walk in the office of the Old Testament prophet. Jesus Christ fulfilled the Messianic prophecies given by these prophets and ushered in a new covenant with mankind, bringing an end to the Mosaic law.

Matthew 11:14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

Matthew 11:14Comments - Jesus will explain how John the Baptist is Elijah in a figurative sense ( Matthew 17:10-13). The Jewish scribes were teaching in the synagogues that the reappearing of Elijah would precede the coming of the Messiah based upon the Old Testament prophecy found in Malachi 4:5, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:"

Matthew 17:10-13, "And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist."

Matthew 11:15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Matthew 11:15Comments - Not everyone listening to Jesus accepted what He was saying. Therefore, Jesus is about to say, "Wisdom is justified of her children." ( Matthew 11:19) That Isaiah , wisdom is recognized by those who seek Wisdom of Solomon , divine wisdom is proven to be genuine by the works of those who embrace it.

Jesus will repeat this statement in Matthew 13:9, and He will declare the blessedness of those who have hearing hears and seeing eyes in Matthew 13:16.

Matthew 13:9, "Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."

Matthew 13:16, "But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear."

Matthew 11:16 But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows,

Matthew 11:16Comments - Leon Morris notes that the Greek word ὁ μοιό ω is used eight times in the Gospel of Matthew out of its fifteen occurrences in the New Testament. Morris also notes that both Matthew and Luke use the Greek word ὅ μοιος nine times. 443] Jesus' frequent use of comparisons is characteristic of the office of the teacher.

443] Leon Morris, The Gospel According to Matthew , in The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992), 284.

Matthew 11:17 And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.

Matthew 11:17 — "We have piped unto you" - Comments- This refers to the work of Jesus in Matthew 11:19. Jesus had rejoiced with the people. He had eaten and drunk with them.

Matthew 11:17 — "and we have mourned unto you" - Comments- This refers to the work of John the Baptist in Matthew 11:18. John"s message was a harsh message of mourning and repentance.

Matthew 11:17Illustration - Anyone who has ever raised children know how much energy they put into play time. They are excited at the smallest events, and they become upset and cry at the slightest problem. Thus, Jesus makes a comparison of the crowds who reject Him to children in that they react irrational in rejecting John the Baptist and Himself. They do not behave as adults who take time to think through a matter.

Matthew 11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.

Matthew 11:18Comments - John the Baptist came preaching a message of repentance and godly sorrow.

Matthew 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.

Matthew 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" - Comments - Jesus Christ came preaching the Good News of the Gospel of redemption. It was a time to rejoice and celebrate deliverance from Satan and the bondages of this world.

"But wisdom is justified of her children" - Comments - Leon Morris interprets this statement to mean that the lives of those who embrace divine wisdom prove it to be right by their upright conduct and good works. 444]

444] Leon Morris, The Gospel According to Matthew , in The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992), 284.

This phrase may be understood to mean, "Wisdom is known by her children." Those who earnestly desire to know God will press into the Kingdom of Heaven despite opposition and persecutions. This verse sets the theme of the narrative material found in Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 12:50, which is to show us the contrast between those who walk in darkness and reject the Gospel and those who walk in the light and receive the Gospel. Thus, we find a similar verse in Matthew 11:25 when Jesus tells us that God has "hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes."

Matthew 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."


Verses 2-50

Narrative Material: Man's Reactions to the Proclamation of the Kingdom of God - Narrative Material: Persecutions and Man's Reactions to the Proclamation of the Kingdom of God ( Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 12:50) - The emphasis of the narrative material in Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 12:50 is upon "hostility and rejection" (Hagner) or persecution (Osborne) in Jesus' public ministry. 435] However, this narrative section carries forward the previous themes as well, seen in the fact that Jesus continues to train the Twelve as He performs miracles and ministers to the people (the theme of the second major division). In this third major division, Jesus faces increasing persecution from the Jewish leaders, a motif that only surfaced occasionally in the previous section ( Matthew 9:3-6; Matthew 9:11-13; Matthew 9:34). In the third narrative section, the disciples observe how Jesus handles hostility and rejection while continuing to preach, teach, and heal in His public ministry. This narrative material is related to the third major discourse that will follow ( Matthew 13:1-53) in that Jesus will then teach His disciples on the topic of persecution and perseverance in the Kingdom of Heaven through the use of parables. Matthew 12:15-21 reveals how this narrative material also serves as a testimony of the fulfillment of Isaiah 42:1-4.

435] Donald Hagner entitles the narrative material in Matthew 11:2 to 12:50 as "The Negative Response to Jesus." In reference to Matthew 12:15-21, Donald Hagner says, "In the present context of hostility and rejection, this passage takes on special significance." See Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13, in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD-Rom, vol 33A, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker, (Dallas: Word Inc, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 30b [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2004), comments on Matthew 11:2 to 12:50 and Matthew 12:15-21in "Form/Structure/Setting." See also Grant R. Osborne, Matthew , in Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 411.

Isaiah 42:1-4, "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law."

The prophecy of Isaiah 42:1-4 tells us the manner in which Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom by walking in meekness in the midst of rejection by certain Israelite cities and persecution from the Jewish religious leaders. In response, Jesus rebukes them for their hardness of hearts, but calls those who were willing to hear to follow Him in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus will continue to withdraw Himself from those who oppose Him in the fourth narrative section in fulfillment of Isaiah 42:1-4, which Matthew cites in Matthew 12:15-20. Examples of Jesus withdrawing are seen in Matthew 14:13; Matthew 15:21; Matthew 16:4. 436]

436] Gaechter X. Lon-Dufour notes the placement of these withdrawal verse in the fourth narrative section. See Gaechter X. Lon-Dufour, "Vers l'announce de l'glise. Matthieu 14 ,1-16 ,20 ," in L'homme devant Dieu I (Mlanges H. de Lubac, Paris, 1963), 37-49; reprinted in Gaechter X. Lon-Dufour, tudes d'vangile (Ed. du Seuil, Paris, 1965), 231-254. This work is evaluated by Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, "The Structure of Matthew XIV-XVII," Revue Biblique 82 (1975): 364-365.

Grant Osborne divides Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 12:50 into three sections, with each section subdivided into three pericopae. The first section offers three pericopae that reveal how some of the cities had rejected the testimonies of John the Baptist and Jesus ( Matthew 11:2-19), so Jesus rebukes those cities ( Matthew 11:20-24). After giving thanks to the Father for His hand of divine providence in a difficult situation, Jesus calls those people who were willing to accept the testimony of John the Baptist and Him to come find true rest in Him ( Matthew 11:25-30). The second section offers three pericopae that reveal how the religious leaders had rejected the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures regarding the laws of the Sabbath ( Matthew 12:1-8 and Matthew 12:9-14); when Jesus knew of their plans to kill Him, He withdrew Himself in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy ( Matthew 12:15-21). This arrangement of three pericopae offered to the New Testament Church the opportunity to believe the testimony of Scripture in that Jesus fulfilled it on this occasion. The third section offers three pericopae that reveal how the religious leaders had rejected the testimony of Jesus' miracles when He healed the blind demoniac ( Matthew 12:22-37) and when they asked Him to perform a miracle for them ( Matthew 12:38-45); so Jesus responds by explaining the distinction between those children of the Kingdom of Heaven and those who are not ( Matthew 12:46-50). While the Jewish leaders rejected the works of Jesus, He explains that the true children of God are those who are doing the will of God just as He Himself is doing in His public ministry. Thus, the third pericope in each of these three sections records two prophetic sayings from Jesus and one from the Old Testament Scriptures. 437] Viewed as a thematic scheme, these three sections reveal how men have rejected the testimonies of John the Baptist, the Old Testament Scriptures, and the works and miracles of Jesus' public ministry, which testimonies are listed by John the apostle in his Gospel ( John 5:19-47):

437] Grant R. Osborne, Matthew , in Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 411-412.

1. Jesus Testifies of Himself — Matthew 5:19-31

2. Testimony of John the Baptist — Matthew 5:32-35

3. Testimony of His Works — Matthew 5:36

4. Testimony of the Father — Matthew 5:37-38

5. Testimony of the Scriptures — Matthew 5:39-47

These testimonies speak to the triune nature of man. The messages of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ spoke to the hearts of men; the message of the Old Testament Scripture spoke to men's understanding; the testimony of miracles and physical healings spoke to man's physical bodies. Thus, God offers testimony to man: spirit, soul, and body. Much of Israel had rejected all of the testimonies given to them in Jesus' public ministry although their Law states that a matter is confirmed in the mouth of two or three witnesses.

Outline: Note the proposed outline:

1. The Rejection of the Testimonies of John and Jesus (Heart) — Matthew 11:2-30

2. The Rejection of the Testimony of Scriptures (Mind) — Matthew 12:1-21

3. The Rejection of the Testimony of Miracles (Body) — Matthew 12:22-50

Matthew's Gospel Speaks to Man's Mind through the Testimony of Old Testament Scripture - While John's Gospel speaks to man's heart, and Mark speaks to our bodies through the miracles of physical healings, and Luke speaks to our mind through the understanding of eye-witnesses of Jesus' public ministry, Matthew speaks to our mind by giving us understanding in the Old Testament Scriptures as they testify of the Messiah. Therefore, the Gospel of Matthew is structured around the formula quotations derived from ἵνα πληρωθῇ. A study of the pericope in which the formula quotations are found reveals that Matthew has placed them within passages of testimonies that place emphasis upon the mental realm of men, since this emphasis is embedded within the fabric of this Gospel. For example, the formula quotation for the second narrative section is found in the pericope where Matthew wants us to understand that it is God's will to heal mankind because healing is in the atonement of Jesus Christ ( Matthew 8:1-17). The formula quotation for the third narrative section is found in the pericope where Matthew is teaching that men have rejected the testimony of Old Testament Scriptures ( Matthew 12:1-21).


Verses 2-53

Man's Response to the Proclamation of the Kingdom of God - Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 13:53 emphasizes Israel's rejection of the various testimonies of the Gospel as well as the persecutions from religious leaders against those who serve in the Kingdom of God. 433] The narrative passage in Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 12:50 emphasizes the rejection of the various testimonies of John the Baptist and Jesus, of the Scriptures, and of physical miracles. In this passage of Scripture Jesus demonstrates to His disciples how to respond to persecutions. This rejection and the persecutions that followed arose not because of the messenger of God, but because the people were rejecting the testimonies that God had given to them so that they might believe and be saved. It appropriately follows Jesus' commissioning and sending out of the twelve disciples in the previous passage. This passage tells us about His rejection by the Jewish people amidst His miracles and how He rebuked them for their hardness of hearts. Yet in the midst of rejection Jesus walked in meekness. We will see how Jesus faced doubt and rejection from His forerunner John the Baptist, from the cities of Israel, from the Pharisees, and from His family. In other words, Jesus faced rejection from all sectors of the Jewish society. This passage, which gives us an understanding of how the Kingdom of Heaven is received among men, prepares us for the third discourse in which Jesus teaches on the Parables of the Kingdom in Matthew 13:1-53 in order to explain how the message of the Kingdom is received and rejected in various ways by men. Because of this emphasis on rejecting and accepting the Gospel, this narrative material does not emphasis Jesus' healing ministry, as did the material found in Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 9:38. However, it does take up the theme of Jesus' discourse of Matthew 10:1 to Matthew 11:1 in which Jesus warned His disciples of persecutions and rejection by even their families ( Matthew 10:34-39) as He Himself faced ( Matthew 12:46-50). This material can be compared to the General Epistles of Hebrews ,, James , and 1Peter in that they both deal with the perseverance of the saints amongst persecutions from without the Church.

433] Benjamin Bacon identifies the theme of Matthew 11:1 to 13:53 as Israel's blindness and rejection of the Gospel and its revelation "to ‘the little ones' of Jesus' spiritual Kingdom." He says, "Hence Matthew , at the close of his account of the heralding of the message by Jesus throughout Galilee, and his further dissemination of it through the mission of the Twelve to preach and to heal, can hardly do otherwise logically than to continue his story by an account of ‘the stumbling of Israel at the word'; a narrative whose complement is the reception of it by the remnant of the ‘people of the soil,' who prove themselves the true kindred of Jesus by ‘hearing and doing the will of God.'" See Benjamin W. Bacon, Studies in Matthew (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1930), 376, 396; Grant R. Osborne, Matthew , in Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 411.

There are three Old Testament prophecies referred to in this division of Matthew's Gospel. The first one is found in Matthew 12:17-21, which is a quote from Isaiah 42:1-4, and serves to reveal how Jesus ministered the Gospel with gentleness in the midst of persecution, reflecting the theme of this division of Matthew.

Matthew 12:17-21, "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust."

The second prophecy is found in Matthew 13:14-15, which is a quote from Isaiah 6:9-10, which predicts the hardness of heart of the Jews to the preaching of the Gospel.

Matthew 13:14-15, "And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people"s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."

Isaiah 6:9-10, "And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed."

The third prophecy is found in Matthew 13:34-35, which is a quote from Psalm 78:2, revealing how Jesus taught the multitudes inparables because they were not His true followers.

Matthew 13:34-35, "All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world."

Psalm 78:2, "I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:"

These three fulfillments of Scripture support the emphasis of this division of Matthew's Gospel, which is serving the Lord in the midst of persecutions from without the Church.

The section of Matthew emphasizing sanctification through perseverance from persecutions without ( Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 13:53) closes with a transitional sentence that concludes each of the five discourses, telling us that Jesus had ended His teaching ( Matthew 13:53).

Matthew 13:53, "And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence."

Literary Evidence of a Common Theme between the Third Narrative Section and the Discourse that Follows - There is literary evidence that the third narrative section shares a common theme with the discourse that follows. The first literary evidence of a common theme is found in the use of the Greek words σκανδαλί ζω and σκά νδαλον, key words Jesus uses in the opening of the third narrative section ( Matthew 11:6), and three times during the third discourse, in the midst and at the closing of the third discourse ( Matthew 11:21, 41, 57). 434] Jesus encounters offenses in the third narrative section ( Matthew 11:6) and He teaches on offense in the discourse that follows ( Matthew 13:21; Matthew 13:57). The second literary evidence is found in the words of Jesus when He says, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear," a statement that is found in the opening passage of the third narrative section ( Matthew 11:15), and twice during the third discourse, in the midst and at the closing of the third discourse ( Matthew 13:15; Matthew 13:43). Both of these literary evidences reflect the common theme between the third narrative and the third discourse of the servant of God's need to persevere in the faith in the midst of opposition to the Kingdom of Heaven.

434] Christopher R. Smith, "Literary Evidences of a FiveFold Structure in the Gospel of Matthew ," in New Testament Studies 43 (1997): 546.

Sanctification: Perseverance: Numbers Versus the Third Discourse, which Deals with Persecutions from Without- The narrative passage in Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 12:50 emphasizes the many ways that people received, rejected and questioned the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. This passage, which gives us an understanding of how the Kingdom of Heaven is received among men, and it prepares us for the third discourse when Jesus teaches on the Parables in Matthew 13:1-52 in order to explain how persecutions from without accompany the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven. This service, or work, of the Kingdom reminds us of the book of Numbers , which discusses the perseverance of the children of Israel in their wilderness journey. This narrative material in Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 12:40 tells us the manner in which Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom. For this reason this passage tells us about His rejection by the Jewish people amidst His miracles and how He rebuked them for their hardness of hearts. Yet in the midst of rejection Jesus walked in meekness. This meekness in Christian service is the duty of the Levitical priesthood.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Narrative: Man's Reactions to the King — Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 12:50

2. Third Discourse: Parables of Man's Reactions to Gospel — Matthew 13:1-53


Verses 20-24

Jesus Rebukes the Cities that Reject Him ( Luke 10:13-15) - Matthew 11:20-24 continues to place emphasis upon persecutions that come against the Kingdom of Heaven when certain cities reject Jesus' public ministry. In this passage of Scripture Jesus rebukes the cities who have rejected His ministry and that of John the Baptist.

The Preaching of Righteousness- The book of Deuteronomy offers us one of the first recorded sermons in human history. Prior to the time of Moses, the Scriptures tell us that Noah was a "preacher of righteousness" ( 2 Peter 2:5), and the preaching of Enoch, the seventh from Adam, is believed to be recorded in the Book of Enoch ( Jude 1:14-15). However, the sermons of Moses stand tallest in Jewish history because he was a man who preached with mighty signs and wonders accompanying his ministry as his sermons shook nations and brought multitudes to their knees in repentance and faith in God ( Deuteronomy 34:10-12). The powerful effects of such preaching throughout history are expressed by the Lord Jesus Christ when He was upbraiding those cities of Galilee that rejected His Gospel. He told them that the cities of Tyre and Sidon would have repented had someone stood and preached the Gospel to them. He added that the wicked city of Sodom would still be standing today had someone came a preached to those people with signs and wonders ( Matthew 11:20-24). How we need someone to stand up and shout from the mountain tops the unspeakable grace and forgiveness of God coupled with His impending judgment.

Matthew 11:20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:

Matthew 11:20Comments- Jesus was able to upbraid these cities because we see in Matthew 11:1 that Jesus not only sent his disciples to all the cities, but He also went Himself to many of these cities preaching and teaching the Gospel. These cities had heard the Good News confirmed with signs and wonders and many had rejected this message.

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."

Matthew 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.

Matthew 11:21Comments- We see from this verse that Jesus had been to many unrecorded places by this time by this time in His ministry ( John 21:25).

John 21:25, "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."

Matthew 11:22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.

Matthew 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.

Matthew 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.


Verses 25-30

Jesus' Calls the Multitudes to Follow Him ( Luke 10:21-22) - The testimonies of John the Baptist and Jesus in Matthew 11:2-24 serve as God the Father's witness to the depravity of men's hearts; therefore, Jesus acknowledges that the Father will only reveal His divine truths to those with childlike faith in God. Jesus first gives thanks to the Father for His hand of divine providence in a difficult situation as He works in the hearts of men ( Matthew 11:25-27). Then in an act of faith and devotion to the Father, Jesus calls the multitudes to follow Him, knowing that the Father would reveal the Gospel to those of humble hearts with a childlike faith in Him ( Matthew 11:28-30). Jesus calls those people who were willing to accept the testimony of John the Baptist and Him to come find true rest in Him ( Matthew 11:28-30).

Matthew 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.

Matthew 11:25Comments - Jesus has just said, "But wisdom is justified of her children." ( Matthew 11:19) In other words, God's children will recognize wisdom when it is proclaimed. In Matthew 11:25 now says God hides His wisdom from those whose hearts are hardened through human wisdom and prudent. Paul will mention this same topic in his first epistle to the Corinthians, saying, "Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." ( 1 Corinthians 1:20-21) Jesus describes those who receive God's Words as "babes" because of their childlike faith in Him.

Matthew 11:26 Even Song of Solomon , Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.

Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Song of Solomon , but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Song of Solomon , and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28Comments - While the world was seeking rest in their earthly pursuits, they were rejecting the One who created them for rest. Jesus wants us to come to Him so that He can reveal the Father to us, as He states in the previous verse ( Matthew 11:27). We can only find true rest when we find fellowship with our Heavenly Fathers.

Note these insightful words from Frances J. Roberts:

"How can I give you healing for your body whilst there is anxiety in thy mind? So long as there is dis-ease in thy thoughts, there shall be disease in thy body. Ye have need of many things, but one thing in particular ye must develop for thine own preservation, and that is an absolute confidence in My loving care.

‘Come unto Me', it is written, ‘all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.' ( Matthew 11:28) Only when your mind is at rest can your body build health. Worry is an actively destructive force. Anxiety produces tension, and tension is the road to pain. Anger throws poison into the system that no anti-biotic ever can counter.

'Be sure your sin will find you out', the Bible states. One of the most common ways that hidden sin is revealed is through the maladies of the body. More arthritis is brought about by resentments and ill-will than is caused by wrong diet. More asthma is caused by repressed fury than by pollen or cat fur.

There was no illness in the body of Jesus because there was no sin in His soul. There was weariness as a natural result of labor and sacrificial service, but there was no undue fatigue and exhaustion brought on by anxiety." 445]

445] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 92-3.

Again: "Thou dost not need to carry thine own load, for I will be happy to help thee carry it and to also bear thee up as well. Thou dost not walk alone nor meet any situation alone, for I am with thee, and I will give thee wisdom and I will give thee strength, and My blessing shall be upon thee. Only keep thine heart set upon Me and thine affections on things above; for I cannot bless thee unless ye ask Me and I cannot answer if ye do not call, and I cannot minister to thee except thou come to Me." 446]

446] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 110.

Again: "O My beloved, ye do not need to make your path (like a snow plow), for lo, I say unto thee, I go before you. Yea, I shall engineer circumstances on thy behalf. I am thy husband, and I will protect thee and care for thee, and make full provision for thee. I know thy need, and I am concerned for thee: for thy peace, for thy health, for thy strength. I cannot use a tired body, and ye need to take time to renew thine energies, both spiritual and physical. I am the God of Battle, but I am also the One who said: They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. Jesus said, Come ye apart and rest a little while.

"I will teach you, even as I taught Moses on the back side of the desert, and as I taught Paul in Arabia. So will I teach you. Thus it shall be a constructive period, and not in any sense wasted time. But as the summer course to the school teacher, it is vital to thee in order that ye be fully qualified for your ministry.

"There is no virtue in activity as such - neither in inactivity. I minister to thee in solitude that ye may minister of Me to others as a spontaneous overflow of our communion. Never labor to serve, nor force opportunities. Set thy heart to be at peace and to sit at My feet. Learn to be ready, but not to be anxious. Learn to say ‘no' to the demands of men and to say ‘yes' to the call of the Spirit." 447]

447] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 145.

Again: "I don't want you to work for Me under pressure and tension like a machine - striving to produce, produce. I want you to just live with Me as a Person. I have waited for you to wear yourself out. I knew you would find it eventually - the secret of silence and rest, of solitude and of song. I will rebuild your strength - not to work again in foolish frenzy, but just for the sake of making you strong and well. To Me this is an end in itself. Make it your aim to join with Me wholeheartedly in the project. ‘Many joys are waiting yet'." 448]

448] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 152.

Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Psalm 38:4, "For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me."

Psalm 94:13, "That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked."

Matthew 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.

Matthew 11:29 — "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me" - Comments- Everett Harrison says that in the Pirke Aboth, or Sayings of the Jewish Fathers, there is a eulogy of the man who takes upon himself the yoke of the Torah. He believes Jesus may have drawn upon this analogy when He said, "Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me." 449] The ancient Jewish eulogy reads, "R. Nechonyiah ben ha-Qanah said, Whoso receives upon him the yoke of Thorah, they remove from him the yoke of royalty and the yoke of worldly care; and whoso breaks from him the yoke of Thorah, they lay upon him the yoke of royalty and the yoke of worldly care." (Pirke Aboth Matthew 3:8) 450]

449] Everett F. Harrison, Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, c 1964, 1971), 171.

450] Charles Taylor, Sayings of the Jewish Fathers Comprising Pirque Aboth in Hebrew and English with Notes and Excursuses (Cambridge: University Press, 1897), 45-46.

Matthew 11:29Comments - Word Study on "yoke" - There are six uses of the Greek word ζυγός (yoke) in the New Testament.

1. The yoke of Christ: Matthew 11:29-30

Matthew 11:29-30, "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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

2. This is a reference to the Law:

Acts 15:10, "Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?"

Galatians 5:1, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."

3. As a reference to physical slavery:

1 Timothy 6:1, "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed."

4. In its most literal sense:

Luke 14:19, "And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused."

Comments- Christ's yoke is a yoke of freedom. We are under the yoke of Jesus, serving Him.

Romans 6:16, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"

The yoke of slavery:

1 Timothy 6:1, "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed."

See the yoke of the Law:

Acts 15:10, "Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?"

Galatians 5:10, "I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be."

Matthew 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:30Scripture Reference- Note:

1 John 5:3, "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous."

Matthew 11:28-30Comments- Jesus is the Great Burden-bearer- One of the greatest pieces of advice to young believers is to not make life so complicated, so busy and so intense. One of the greatest discoveries that I made as a young Christian is that when I stopped trying to please others, I no longer had to work so hard to achieve successes. I learned to enter in to a life of more rest as I began to focus on just the things that the Lord wanted me to accomplish in this life.

Life will become too burdensome when we work to achieve success in the eyes of man. God measures success in a much deeper, more important way. When we begin to serve Jesus, the burden is light. We do feel the burden of responsibility for a lost and dying world, for those we love, but this is a much lighter burden than that of being busy pleasing man.

The Pharisees had placed tremendous burdens upon the people in the forms of customs and traditions.

Matthew 23:4, "For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men"s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers."

The people were confused about what it meant to obey the laws of Moses. Jesus had some to teach the people an easier way to serve the Lord and to lift their burdens. It is very likely that Jesus was referring to Isaiah 10:27 when made this statement in Matthew 11:28-30.

Isaiah 10:27, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing."

Jesus is the great burden-bearer. He will carry this load with us, but man is limited in his ability to care. Note these words from Frances J. Roberts:

"My child, do not share thy burdens with all who come unto thee profession concern. Lo, I, Myself, am the great burden-bearer. Ye need not look for another. I will lead thee and guide thee in wisdom from above. All things shall be as I plan them, if ye allow Me the freedom to shape circumstances and lead thee to the right decisions." 451]

451] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 17.

"My child, lean thy head upon My bosom. Well I know thy weariness, and every burden I would lift. Never bury thy griefs; but offer them up to Me. Thou wilt relieve thy soul of much strain if ye can lay every care in My hand. Never cling to any trouble, hoping to resolve it thyself, but turn it over to Me; and in doing Song of Solomon , ye shall free Me to work it out." 452]

452] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 18.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Matthew 11:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/matthew-11.html. 2013.

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Tuesday, November 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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