Matthew 11:1-30 The Christian & His Listeners

by | Nov 6, 2023 | 0 comments

I. John The Baptist

A. His Doubts About Jesus Vs. 2, 3

1. John was the forerunner to Jesus, telling people to prepare for His coming
2. John had recognized Jesus as Messiah when Jesus appeared at the Jordan River
3. John 1:32-35 speaks of the sureness that John previously had re. Jesus
4. Why is John now struggling with Jesus’ identity?

a. John is in prison. He probably wasn’t expecting that
b. John had been imprisoned by Herod because he criticized Herod (Matthew 14:3)
c. Perhaps John was expecting an immediate appearing of God’s kingdom

5. APPLICATION FOR US– Even the most mature and secure Christians will sometimes have their doubts about God and what He is doing

a. Doubts may arise from surprises, opposition, or wrong assumptions re. God
b. See 2 Corinthians 1:8-11

B. Jesus Responds To John’s Doubts Vs. 4-6

1. Jesus doesn’t send a word of rebuke to John
2. He gives instructions that will bring confirmation/comfort to John about Jesus
3. He also gives a word of caution to John & to his disciples: don’t be offended

a. Offended-skandalizo- to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall
b. To cause a person to distrust & desert one whom he ought to trust & obey

4. APPLICATION- If we struggle with doubts, Jesus will re-affirm to us who He is, and remind us not to be offended because of Him

a. God understands how we might struggle because of opposition
b. Don’t turn away from him because of opposition
c. Remember- You are not the only Christian who has struggled w/doubts
d. Jesus uplifts the struggling heart. Be sure to “send to Him”. Pray, read

C. Jesus’ Evaluation Of John Vs. 7-11a

1. Jesus asks/challenges the people re. their opinion of John

a. Did you think he was like a blowing reed; someone changing their mind?
b. Did you think he was someone to admire & be impressed with?

2. Jesus says, “John is a prophet, more than a prophet”
3. You don’t understand what you saw, or who was standing in front of you
4. He fulfilled what other prophets predicted and never saw
5. He was forerunner to the Messiah, and actually saw the Messiah
6. He is the greatest of all the prophets b/c of what was fulfilled in/through him

D. Jesus’ Adds To John’s Message Vs. 11b-13

1. There is more news than this! The least in God’s kingdom is greater than John
2. The Kingdom is so far superior to anything that you have experienced
3. Not just revelation & repentance, but true forgiveness & removal of sins.
4. Adam Clarke on v.12– He that will take, get possession of the kingdom of righteousness, peace, and spiritual joy, must be in earnest: all hell will oppose him in every step he takes; and if a man be not absolutely determined to give up his sins and evil companions, and have his soul saved at all hazards, and at every expense, he will surely perish everlastingly. This requires a violent earnestness.

II. His Listeners Vs. 7-9

A. What Were Their Expectations?

1. Did they go to see a man of wavering opinion? No, John was consistent
2. Did they go to see a man who would impress them with looks and finery?
3. Did you go to hear the voice of God through a prophet of God?
4. APPLICATION- Why are you here? Why listen to any Christian messenger?

B. Were They Willing To Hear God’s Truth? Vs. 14, 15

1. If you have right hearts, then realize who John was.
2. He was the forerunner to the Messiah, and I (Jesus) am the Messiah!

C. Jesus’ Evaluation Of These Listeners Vs. 16-24

1. Whatever is said or done, it’s not acceptable to you
2. Whoever comes with God’s message, you find a way to criticize
3. Jesus rebukes the cities that experienced a strong witness of God, & yet rejected Jesus
4. But wisdom is justified by her children– your wisdom can be measured by your life, and your ultimate end before the throne of God.
5. Your “wisdom” or lack of it will eventually be clearly seen

III. Jesus’ Prayer And Invitation

A. His Prayer Vs. 25-27

1. The so called “wise & prudent” will never see the kingdom of God
2. Those like babes, dependent, helpless, knowing it: these will see the kingdom of God
3. Even “babes” can’t see the kingdom of God w/o revelation from Jesus. It is all of grace

B. His Invitation Vs. 28-30

1. All of humanity will experience labor and heaviness.
2. Difference is that some will come to Jesus, others will not. They are independent
3. Coming to Jesus means being “yoked” to Him
4. We are all “yoked” to something. What are you yoked to?
5. He is gentle, lowly in heart. His yoke is easy & His burden light, as compared to what the world can offer you. Not w/o painful times, but infinitely better.

C. What About You?

1. Are you in the first group?

a. Is your mind is made up about the people who share Christ with you?

i. Do you believe that you have them figured out?
ii. Do you measure the messenger, or listen to the message?
iii. Therefore you feel justified in rejecting their message about Jesus

b. You find ways to criticize & disqualify everything that a Christian might share?
c. Do you have ears to hear, or is your mind made up?
d. Are you willing to receive the truth, or are you sure that you know the truth?
e. Have you decided that you are wise & prudent, & don’t need instruction?

2. Are you in the second group?

a. Like a babe before God, knowing your need, not self-dependent?
b. Do you listen for God’s truth no matter who it may come through?
c. Are you tired & heavy laden, and willing to come to Jesus?

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