Tuesday, January 4, 2022
7-10 When John’s disciples left to report, Jesus started talking to the crowd about John. “What did you expect when you went out to see him in the wild? A weekend camper? Hardly. What then? A sheik in silk pajamas? Not in the wilderness, not by a long shot. What then? A prophet? That’s right, a prophet! Probably the best prophet you’ll ever hear. He is the prophet that Malachi announced when he wrote, ‘I’m sending my prophet ahead of you, to make the road smooth for you.’
11-14 “Let me tell you what’s going on here: No one in history surpasses John the Baptizer, but in the kingdom, he prepared you for, the lowliest person is ahead of him. For a long time now people have tried to force themselves into God’s kingdom. But if you read the books of the Prophets and God’s Law closely, you will see them culminate in John, teaming up with him in preparing the way for the Messiah of the kingdom. Looked at in this way, John is the ‘Elijah’ you’ve all been expecting to arrive and introduce the Messiah.
-Matthew 11:7-14 The Message
Jesus’ Tribute to John
Verse 7: As these disciples of John were going away, Jesus began speaking to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
Verse 8: But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ palaces!
Verse 9: But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one who is more than a prophet.
Verse 10: This is the one about whom it is written:
‘Behold, I am sending My messenger ahead of You,
Who will prepare Your way before You.’
Verse 11: Truly I say to you, among those born of women, there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Verse 11 study: John is known to have really fulfilled his God-given purpose. But, in God’s kingdom, all members will have a more extraordinary spiritual heritage than John because they will have known and seen Christ and finished his work on the cross.
Verse 12: And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been treated violently, and violent men take it by force.
Verse 12 study: There are three common views of this verse.
- Jesus refers to a vast movement towards God, the momentum that began John’s preaching.
- He may have reflected the Jewish activists’ expectation that God’s kingdom would come through a violent overthrow of Rome.
- He may have meant that entering God’s kingdom takes courage, unwavering faith, determination, and endurance because of the growing opposition leveled at Jesus’ followers.
Verse 13: For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John.
Verse 14: If you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come.
Verse 14 study: John is not a resurrected Elijah, but he did take on Elijah’s prophetic role as boldly confronting sin and pointing people to God (Malachi 3:1).
Matthew 14:5;21:26; Luke 1:76; 20:6
Malachi 3:1; Mark 1:2
Malachi 4:5; Matthew 17:10-13; Mark 9:11-13; Luke 1:17; John 1:21
Father, we know John as to be the person to be the only person to fulfill the God-given purpose. So, therefore, I pray that even if we don’t know our purpose, you will give it to us. I pray we are open-minded and are willing to fulfill it with the preparations you give us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.