God’s Life-Giving Word of Discipleship
Matthew 11:1-19: After instructing his disciples, Jesus continues to teach and preach in different towns, and his ministry begins to attract much attention. While in prison, John the Baptist sends messengers to inquire about Jesus. Jesus then speaks to the crowds about John.
[Jesus said:] “How happy are those who have no doubts about me!”
The Messengers from John the Baptist
1When Jesus finished giving these instructions to his twelve disciples, he left that place and went off to teach and preach in the towns near there.
2When John the Baptist heard in prison about the things that Christ was doing, he sent some of his disciples to him. 3“Tell us,” they asked Jesus, “are you the one John said was going to come, or should we expect someone else?”
4Jesus answered, “Go back and tell John what you are hearing and seeing: 5 the blind can see, the lame can walk, those who suffer from dreaded skin diseases are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead are brought back to life, and the Good News is preached to the poor. 6How happy are those who have no doubts about me!”
7While John's disciples were leaving, Jesus spoke about him to the crowds: “When you went out to John in the desert, what did you expect to see? A blade of grass bending in the wind? 8What did you go out to see? A man dressed up in fancy clothes? People who dress like that live in palaces! 9Tell me, what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes indeed, but you saw much more than a prophet. 10 For John is the one of whom the scripture says: ‘God said, I will send my messenger ahead of you to open the way for you.’ 11I assure you that John the Baptist is greater than anyone who has ever lived. But the one who is least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than John. 12 From the time John preached his message until this very day the Kingdom of heaven has suffered violent attacks, and violent men try to seize it. 13Until the time of John all the prophets and the Law of Moses spoke about the Kingdom; 14 and if you are willing to believe their message, John is Elijah, whose coming was predicted. 15Listen, then, if you have ears!
16“Now, to what can I compare the people of this day? They are like children sitting in the marketplace. One group shouts to the other, 17‘We played wedding music for you, but you wouldn't dance! We sang funeral songs, but you wouldn't cry!’ 18When John came, he fasted and drank no wine, and everyone said, ‘He has a demon in him!’ 19When the Son of Man came, he ate and drank, and everyone said, ‘Look at this man! He is a glutton and wine drinker, a friend of tax collectors and other outcasts!’ God's wisdom, however, is shown to be true by its results.”
Reread verses 2 and 3. The Jewish people believed that God would choose and give power to a leader who would renew the faith of the people and fulfill God’s purposes for them. What did John’s messengers ask? How did Jesus respond? Reread verses 4-6. What is the Good News that Jesus talks about? Who are the messengers of the Good News today?
Lord Jesus, you bring the Good News of healing and hope to all who are in need. Empower me to proclaim your message of love and salvation and to serve the sick, the poor, and all who are in despair. I place my hope and trust in you. Amen.
Matthew 11:20-30: Jesus reproaches the unbelieving towns.