Matthew 10-11 Chapter Study


The Outline for Matthew

I.    JESUS’ EARLY YEARS          1-2



IV. JESUS’ LAST WEEK               21-27

V.  THE RESURRECTION                  28

We are in  . . .


And have come to ‘G’ under ‘II’.

G.  The Call & Commission of the Twelve 10

Up to this point in Jesus’ mission, Matthew has been telling us of His fantastic power.

He demonstrates it in two main ways:

1) the stupendous & surprising things Jesus said,

2) & the dramatic miracles & healings He worked.

It’s clear from the things he writes, that Matthew’s main theme was to present Jesus as the Messiah King of Israel.

But he gives specific examples of Jesus’ teaching and healing that stood in stark contrast with the accepted ideas and traditions.

Jesus’ teaching carried a resounding note of authority, yet it striped away the thick crust of man-made traditions & faulty interpretations that had grown up around the Word of God over the years.

And the healings Matthew describes were given to the kind of people Jewish society tended to neglect and overlook.

As we come to ch. 10, because Jesus has been undercutting the authority of the religious establishment – the opposition of the Pharisees & scribes was heating up and just now coming to the place of organizing against Him.

So, Jesus knows that His focus of ministry, which to this point has been to the multitudes, will need to switch and become more focused and narrow.

He will begin to work more with the disciples than with the crowds.

And specifically, he will select a dozen men from the many disciples who had attached themselves to Him, to be His formal school of training.


1.   The twelve called • 1-4

1And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. 2Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3Philip and Bartholomew [also known as Nathaniel] ; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus [Alpheus was also named Cleopas], and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus [Lebbaeus was usually called just Thaddaeus although his real name was Judas – the reason Matthew gives these other names is to differentiate this Judas from Judas Iscariot, the betrayer]; 4Simon the Cananite [this is the Aramaic word for Zealot, but Simon was called the Cananite because he came from the village of Cana in Galilee which was a hot-bed of the fiery political revolutionary group the Zealots; it was a play on words – he was from Cana, but Cananite means ‘zealot’] and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him [Iscariot means ‘from Kerioth’, a town in Judea].

As we read the gospels, we discover there were more than these twelve who followed Jesus - at times, there appears to be dozens, maybe even as many as a hundred disciples who were following Him.

This crowd of disciples attached themselves to Jesus and followed Him out of their own initiative.

The twelve we read about here were different in that these were the men Jesus called to Himself.

These are the guys we usually think of when we think of the disciples of Jesus.

But really, the better term for them is ‘apostles’ as Matthew calls them in v. 2.

The word apostle means ‘sent one.’

It was a technical term used for an official herald, a court messenger or ambassador who was commissioned by a ruler to go with a specific message, and with whatever authority was necessary to ensure the message was properly delivered and received.

We’re going to see Jesus’ commissioning of these twelve in just a moment.

But for now, notice how diverse these men were.

It would be a blast to give a biographical sketch now of each of the men listed here but we don’t have time.

Suffice it to say, this was a motley crew, the original dirty dozen.

Almost all of them were from Galilee, that northern region of Israel that was considered rather like the Hicksville of the time.

The Galileans were considered to be uneducated, backward, ignorant, uncouth, country-bumpkins; and yes, they even spoke with a folksy accent that caused the cultured to snicker.

Peter & Andrew, along with James & John were professional fishermen, a humble occupation.

These were guys who worked with their hands; they were men who depended on brawn more than brains for their livelihood.

Matthew we already know about – he was a despised publican, exempt & excluded, it was thought, from the Kingdom of God.

Simon the Zealot hated the Romans and anyone associated with them with a sworn passion.  He’s would have loved to stick a knife between Matthew’s ribs!

As far as qualifications for being the disciple of a notable rabbi, probably the only guy who could pass muster was Judas Iscariot.

He was the one guy who possessed some education and seemed to come from the upper classes.

We know this because he had connections with the temple priests in Jerusalem.

He’s also the one who was picked to be the group’s treasurer and kept the purse, which meant he’d been educated with some literary & accounting skills.

But the rest of the apostles were simple, hard-working common people who really did not have much more in common than their calling by Jesus.

In the calling of the twelve, we see the spirit of what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 revealed.

For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.

Yes – the twelve were a mish-mash of very different men, yet they all became one in and through Christ.

It was His call, and His love & truth that transformed and forged of them into a team that turned the world upside-down; or maybe I should say, right-side up.

It’s my conviction that the local church ought to be a reflection of the diversity of the twelve; that God ordains that the local church would present to the world what His redemption and salvation mean; that in Christ, there is no barbarian, Scythian, slave, nor free, but that we are ONE in Christ.

No white, black, brown, yellow or red – just LIGHT in the Lord.

No high-school dropouts, or PhD’s – just students of Jesus.

It’s a fundamental premise of the modern church growth movement that you have to target a specific socio-economic group and then design a program that will reach that specific group.

Yet as we look at the NT, we find that as the early church was faithful to proclaim the good news of Jesus to any and all that would listen – the Lord added to their number daily, those who He was saving, and they came from every rank and strata of society, from the priests to the lepers, the rich to the slaves.

And when they met for worship, we read that they all sat side by side, ate from the same loaf, and drank from the same cup.

All the man-made prejudices and divisions were left at the church door.

So revolutionary was this approach to life and equality that one of the most damaging charges leveled against the early Christians was that they were fomenting social upheaval!

They were seen as a threat to the status quo because racism and social status was not a part of their lives!

We will never target a specific socio-economic group in our outreach at Calvary Chapel of Oxnard.

Our target is the lost – all of them, no matter what their age, the  color of their skin, or their economic or social standing.

It ought to be our aim that our fellowship would be a living witness to the reality that Jesus saves, not only from sin, but from hate, prejudice, bigotry, & racism.

As we look at history, and even to the world scene today, we find that too often religion has been a means of dividing men.

And once more we see the difference between religion and genuine Christianity – for when people truly come to Christ what divides them is overcome in the love and unity He forges.

The generations old hatred & killing in Northern Ireland between Protestants and Catholics has nothing to do with Christianity and everything to do with the politics of impure religion.

The Crusades were not called for by God, but by power hungry & greedy men.

The persecution of the Anabaptists and Moravians and a couple dozen other reform groups by the established church through the centuries has nothing to do with Jesus and everything to do with the corruption of power.

V. 1 says that when Jesus called the twelve, He sent them out with -

 . . . power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.

This is exactly what He’d been doing.  By giving them the same authority and power, He was making crystal clear to the people that the Kingdom of God was indeed breaking in upon them.

He wasn’t just some illusionist and this wasn’t just some rigged religious show He was staging.  What He’d done, another twelve of His duly selected and commissioned followers were also now doing.

All of this was one more indication that the dawn of the Messianic Age had come upon them – and those who believed in Him would enter that age and enjoy its power.

I would love to know what kind of reaction this had in the halls of hell; what the demonic realm was thinking and saying among themselves when the disciples began to undo their plans and reverse the effects of their work.

I’ll bet this sent a chill of fear through their ranks – when mere fishermen cast out demons!  Ha!

2.   Their immediate task  • 5-15

5These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. 6But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

The people of Israel had been prepared for centuries for the Messiah.

Their entire history of the nation set the stage for Him so the Jews ought to have embraced Him when He came.

And indeed, the common people mostly did; it was the leaders who resisted and opposed Him.

So Jesus tells the apostles they are to begin by going first to the Jews.

The Samaritans and Gentiles will be reached, but first things first as Paul says in Romans 1:16.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

7And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

There message was the same one He’d been giving & verifying through the miracles.

Notice that their first & primary task was to preach.  The Miracles were intended to validate them and their message.

Then Jesus gives them some important instructions about how their mission will be funded.

He begins by reminding them that what they had, they had by God’s grace, therefore they must be gracious.

9Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, 10nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food.

What Jesus says here about taking no money with them on their mission was no innovation on His part.

It was part of a continuing tradition for itinerant rabbis which calls for those who teach about God to demonstrate their dependence on Him by their indifference to material things.

When a respected rabbi came to town, someone would inevitably invite him and his little band of disciples to stay with them.

They’d be given a place to sleep, refresh themselves and food to eat.

Hospitality was and is one of the main virtues in the Middle Eastern cultures.

So, Jesus is saying that as they go, faithfully preaching and healing, they can expect to find someone to take care of their needs, and they are to accept the charity – because what they are given by their host is their due for the ministry they perform.

11“Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out.

He tells them not to jump from house to house just because a better offer comes up.

12 And when you go into a household, greet it.

Meaning, bless it!

13If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. 15Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!

When a rabbi arrived in town, a host might be quick to welcome him, but then turn out to reject the rabbi’s teaching.

Jesus makes it clear that being a virtuous host is not the criteria that gains heaven.

The crucial issue is, do they receive Christ?  Do they embrace Him as the Messiah, the King of the Kingdom?

If so, then the apostles were to bless them.  If not, then they were not to bless them.

Indeed, they were to leave a sign that would stand as a witness against them; they were to shake the dust of that city or house off their sandals.

Jews abhorred all contact with Gentiles; any contact was thought to bring defilement; so they were careful to gather their robes about them when passing by a Gentile in the marketplace; they gave them a wide berth.

If a Jew had to pass through a Gentile-dominated area and walk a road or path frequented by Gentiles, when they crossed back again into Jewish territory, they would stop and shake the dust off their sandals because they didn’t want to carry the defilement with them.

Jesus is saying that those Jewish settlements who reject them are no better than the Gentiles.

The judgment of God is determined by how one responds to the message of the King the apostles bring.

Now Jesus looks ahead from the task right at hand to the future when He is gone and the opposition against Him has spread to outright persecution against His followers.

3.   Their future task • 16-42

a.   16-31 • they will be opposed

16“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

That’s not a real comforting thing to say, and certainly not something we would expect a motivating coach to say to His team right before taking the field for the second half.

But it’s one more sign of the truthfulness of the Biblical record.

For indeed, Jesus does call his followers to be like sheep in the midst of wolves.

But He doesn’t expect them to be wolf-food and that’s why He says they are to be as wise as serpents.

A snake has the ability to slip away, to get out of trouble by evasion and hiding.

You know the old expression – “as slippery as a snake;”  It refers to the way a snake is able to sneak away and avoid trouble.

The point is this: Jesus expects His followers to be harmless in terms of violence, either verbal or physical.

They are like sheep – that is, they don’t use worldly force in any of it’s manifestations.

Instead, they sue the wisdom of God to accomplish the aims of the Kingdom.

They will not fight fire with fire – they will fight fire with the cooling stream of love and forgiveness, grace and mercy.

They will defeat evil with good, hate with evil, deceit with truth.

Think about a sheep – what are it’s defenses?  What’s it gonna’ do to counter a wolf – “BAAHH!”    /   Gum it to death?

Yet despite this – it seems that some of Jesus’ followers think they’re “attack sheep” – as Gayle Erwin calls them – “Lambo.”

No – we defeat the world, not by using the world’s means, not by force, but by the wisdom & anointing from above.

17But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. 18You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.

I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t look to me like Jesus is doing a good job of selling this apostle thing to them.

He’s far more interested in telling them what the future really holds than in just saying nice things.

They are going to experience the wrath of evil men; men who will think they’re doing God’s will in persecuting them.

Indeed, what Jesus foretells here happened to everyone of the twelve.

19But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

Jesus tells them when they stand before the rulers of Israel and Rome, or where ever else His commission takes them, they are not to worry about how or what they will say; God Himself will speak through them.

In fact, though their enemies think they’re making it hard for them, all they’re doing is gaining entrance for the gospel into what would be otherwise closed doors and ears.

Because of persecution, the gospel will be preached to kings, princes, governors, and even emperors.

What Jesus says here seems to contradict what Peter says in 1 Pet. 3:15, that we must always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks us for the hope that is within us.

How do we reconcile Peter and Jesus?

Really there is no contradiction at all – Peter says to be ready and able to give an answer, Jesus said not to worry about it; He didn’t say to not prepare.

Peter was calling for his readers to make sure their faith was rooted in more than just emotions or personal circumstances.

Those things may help lead a person to faith, but they must grow beyond them into the realm of a firm faith based solidly on the evidence.

Jesus is simply telling His followers that as they faithfully follow Him, they will eventually stand before the kind of people who tend to intimidate.

They are not to be intimidated or back down from their message.  They are authorized agents of an even higher than any earthly ruler they may be called to stand before.

In the very moment of their standing there, they will be given the words to speak that reveals their authority.

I love the story in Acts where Peter was standing before the Jewish High Council and preaching Jesus to them.

This uneducated, country-bumpkin spoke with such authority and boldness the Sanhedrin was dumb-struck and ended up letting him go because they couldn’t answer his undeniable logic and aura of divine authority.

21“Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.

Jesus warns them that the issue of how a person reacts to Him will be the definitive issue in both an individual’s life and in all of society.

Even families will be split over the person of Christ.

22And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

The two camps the entire world will be divided into are those who repent and believe in Jesus, and those who don’t; the lost and the saved.  The lost will hate the saved.

Jesus then warns them not to give in to the pressure and persecution.

23When they persecute you in this city, flee to another.

When the opposition has made it impossible to carry on their mission, they must move to a place where there’s no opposition and carry on.

The last half of v. 23 is an interpreter’s nightmare!

For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

What throws the interpreters is that they assume Jesus is referring here to His coming in glory as their national Messiah – what we call the Second Coming – and this clearly didn’t happen.

But the issue is easily resolved by keeping the verse in its context and specially the preceding half of the verse.

Jesus is NOT referring to the Second Coming here, but their current mission.

He’s simply telling them to work as long as they can in a city, but when the opposition makes it too difficult, move on to another city where they people still need to hear.

This present mission is limited – they will not make it to every city in the land before Jesus joins up with them again.

24“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, [a demon] how much more will they call those of his household! 26Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.

Jesus returns to warning them of the opposition they will face after He is gone.

But they can be comforted in knowing that while they face the scorn and hatred of the world, on the final day of judgment, they will be vindicated by none other than God Himself.

27“Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.

From this point on, Jesus’ ministry will turn more to the twelve than the crowds.

He tells them that what He imparts to them in private, they will declare to the world after He is gone.

28And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

The world may count their lives as nothing, but God counts them as eternally precious and nothing happens to them that He doesn’t take the most intimate notice of and care for.

b.   32-39 • Jesus is eternity’s “watershed”

Now, as He prepares to send them out, Jesus turns His teaching to the crucial point – and it is this: What a person decides about Christ is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN ALL ETERNITY.

3 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. 34“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

Every phrase of this inspires its own hour-long message, but let me summarize instead:

Jesus is the watershed.  [Explain ‘watershed’ (Continental Divide)]

c.   40-42 • the twelve represent Christ

40“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”

Because Jesus IS the watershed, the apostles needed to be made aware of the heavy responsibility being placed upon them as His messengers.

They are now His duly authorized agents to go forth with the most important communiqué ever entrusted to a human being, because that message makes the difference in one’s eternity.

Their commissioning and authority is so firm, that to receive them and their message is equivalent to receiving Christ Himself, and it is through Christ that one comes into communion with the Father.

While the apostles will know intense persecution in the days and years to come, they can be confident in knowing their reward is secure in heaven.

Vs. 32-42 are the preface for the next 2 chapters which increasingly reveal Jesus as the watershed, the Continental Divide for eternity.


H.  Jesus Is THE “Watershed”  11-12

1.   John the Baptist’s question • 11:1-19

1Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities.

The other gospels tell us that after the teaching of ch. 10, the twelve went out two by two to preach and heal while Jesus continued in the same area.

2And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples 3and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” 4Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: 5The blind see 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. 6 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

John had been arrested and thrown into prison by Herod.

And after some time, he became a little confused over Jesus’ ministry.

Remember, John knew Jesus was the Messiah – they were cousins, and John had witnessed the divine approval and anointing at Jesus’ baptism.

So why this question?  Well, John, like the rest of the people of Israel, thought the Messiah was going to be a great military & political leader who would bring in the Kingdom of God in the form & shape of an earthly kingdom – through force!

Here he was rotting in prison now, and was beginning to wonder if Jesus had forgotten to come rescue him.

Reports had reached him that Jesus was doing and saying some really wild things, but the whole “kingdom” thing didn’t seem to be happening and time was getting on.

So John asked if Jesus was really the guy or if they should look for another.

Jesus answered by telling those who came to him from John to carry back a testimony of the miracles and healings they’d seen.

The kingdom had come alright – it’s just that it wasn’t a physical kingdom that used physical might.

It was a spiritual kingdom that used spiritual power.

Walls were falling, and rulers were being deprived of their thrones – only not Herod or the Romans – it was the power of the demonic that was being unseated and hellish fortifications that were being torn down in people minds and hearts.

7As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. 9But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. 10For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.’ 11“Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Prior to John’s arrival, the nation of Israel had been without a prophetic voice for over 400 years.

He was the last and greatest of the OT Prophets because his ministry was to point people to the one who would come and inaugurate the Kingdom of God.

John marked the end of the OT era, so as great as he was, he was still an outsider to the better thing God would do under the new Covenant.

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

Here’s another verse that gives interpreters the shivers.

And again, it’s easy to resolve when we keep the verse in its context which is Jesus as the watershed.

What was John the Baptist’s message?

“Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”

What was Jesus’ message – what did He send out the twelve to preach?

“Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”

The Kingdom of God refers to the rule of God and it’s realized most perfectly in the Kingdom’s King – Jesus!

The response on the part of the common people to John was a dramatic revival.

They responded enmasse to his appeal to repent and be baptized even though this was a radical step.

In fact, baptism for Jews did serious violence to the conventional wisdom of the day.

The religious leaders were shocked and appalled when John called for Jews to be baptized; baptism was only for Gentiles who wanted to convert to Judaism.

By being baptized, these Jews were saying they were not better than Gentiles and this disabused the religious leaders of their traditions.

But the common people weren’t interested in the religious niceties of the Pharisees and scribes.

They knew they were out of step with God and would do anything to be made right with Him, and if that meant getting wet, so be it.

The multitudes were still carrying on in that kind of response with Jesus and His message.

They weren’t going to let anything get in the way of their coming in to all that the Lord had for them – witness the guys who dug through the roof to lower their paralyzed friend before Jesus, or the woman with the issue of blood who would not let the prohibitions against her impurity keep her from touching Jesus.

You see, by violence, Jesus does not mean literal physical violence; He’s referring to those who aren’t interested in playing the religious game anymore. 

They will do whatever it takes to be where they need to be with God.

13For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

Okay, this gets a little steep but I’ll try to keep it brief.

Elijah was the first of the OT prophets, John was the last.

As we saw in an earlier study, they even dressed in the same way and had a similar diet.

The last prophetic voice to speak 400 years before John was Malachi, and he foretold that right before the Messiah comes, Elijah will come and announce His arrival.

This is why to this day for the Passover meal, the Jewish homes sets a seat and plate for Elijah, just in case he decides to stop by and have Passover with them.

Jesus is here saying, that if the entire nation, the rulers along with the common people, had received Jesus as their Messiah – then John would have actually been fulfilling the role of Elijah, and the Kingdom would have been brought to the Nation at that time.

But the rulers rejected Jesus, and the result was the loss of their nation until the end times when the nation would be reborn in fulfillment of Ezekiel 37.

Because of all this – many think that one of the two witnesses in Revelation will be Elijah.

16“But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, 17and saying: ‘We played the flute for you, And you did not dance; We mourned to you, And you did not lament.’ 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.”

Have you ever noticed how some children can be just plain contrary?

No matter what you do or say, it displeases them.

They just get it into their little heads that they want to be contrary will oppose you no matter what.

That’s what Jesus’ & John’s critics were like – they were sour religious sticks in the mud.

Even though Jesus & John went about the same godly message in two totally different ways, one austere and the other celebratory, jubulous – the critics frowned on both.

Jesus reminds His hearers that true righteousness will result in a righteous and God-pleasing life, while those who oppose Him will shrivel and become seriously crunkalated.

2.   Woe to those who refuse to repent & believe • 11:20-24

20Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: 21“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, 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. 22But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 23And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.”

The cities of Tyre, Sidon, & Sodom were all proverbial for the overwhelming judgment of God.

But their judgment will look like child’s play compared to the judgment the cities on the northern shore of Galilee will experience if they don’t repent because the message and evidence  for it given to them was so ginormously greater than the warning sent to Tyre, Sidon, or Sodom.

3.   Jesus gives true rest • 11:25-30

25At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. 26Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. 27All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

Can you see how in all of this Jesus has moved the general message about the Kingdom of God to Himself personally.

It wasn’t just, “The Kingdom is at hand” but now He was proclaiming, “The King is here!”

He affirms the fact that it was the common people who were laying hold of the truth, while the bulk of the educated elite were missing it.

Up till now the educated had cornered the market on God and kept it to themselves, looking with disdain on the common man who they held in scorn.

All of that was changing with Jesus.

And while the priests and rabbis had laid heavy religious burdens and duties on the people so that worship was a joyless chore, Jesus came to lift the load and add unbounded joy to their awe of God.

28Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

We covered these verses in depth three weeks ago.