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Matthew Chapter 11


Memory verses for this week:   1 Cor 1:25  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.


Introduction: In last week’s lesson, we studied about Jesus sending the 12 disciples forth with great power to heal all manner of sickness and disease.  The apostolic powers given during the early days of the church included the ability to heal lepers, cause the blind to see, and even raise the dead.   These were special gifts that we can not do today.   God still heals, but it is faith in God by the individual, not the Christian who causes this to happen. 


I.   Jesus Goes Forth to Preach and Teach    

Mat 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.

Christ was always about doing the Father’s Will.  As a young child, we found him interested in the word of God.     Once when Joseph and Mary had taken the family up to Jerusalem for the Passover, they left Jesus behind when he was about 12 years old.

Luke 2:41  Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.

Luke 2:42  And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.

Luke 2:43  And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.

Luke 2:44  But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.

Luke 2:45  And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.

Luke 2:46  And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.

Luke 2:47  And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.

Luke 2:48  And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.

Luke 2:49  And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? 

After Jesus sent the disciples forth to preach, he then goes himself to the cities to preach.


II.  John the Baptist Sends Disciples to Question Jesus 

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

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

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

Mat 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.

Mat 11:6  And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. 

John had met Jesus on other occasions and had been given proof that Jesus was the Messiah. 

John 1:29  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

John 1:30  This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.

John 1:31  And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.

John 1:32  And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

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 same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

John 1:34  And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. 

Another example of how we can see the John truly knew that Jesus was the Messiah is here in Chapter 3 of John. 

John 3:22  After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

John 3:23  And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.

John 3:24  For John was not yet cast into prison.

John 3:25  Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying.

John 3:26  And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.

John 3:27  John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

John 3:28  Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.

John 3:29  He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

John 3:30  He must increase, but I must decrease. 

What we do makes a lot bigger impact on people than what we say.

Jesus answered them and told them to tell John that the blind receive their sight and leapers are healed.   And probably the greatest proof, “The Poor have the Gospel preached unto them.”     Unfortunately not all were believers, and many were offended because of Christ.  When your life conflicts with the standards God sets, you will be offended.  But the right thing to do is to repent of our sins, and follow those standards and commandments.   They are all for our own good. 

To heal a person born blind was unheard of before Jesus came on the scene. 

John 9:24  Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.

John 9:25  He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.

John 9:26  Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes?

John 9:27  He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples?

John 9:28  Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples.

John 9:29  We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.

John 9:30  The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes.

John 9:31  Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

John 9:32  Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind.


III.  The GREATEST Man Born of Woman 

Mat 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?

Mat 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.

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

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

Mat 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. 

Many great men and women have come and gone since the beginning of time.   However, the greatest man ever born of woman was John the Baptist according to Christ.  He was not a man who was fearful or weak, or shaken by things.   He was not clothed with kings apparel, but he was a prophet, and more than a prophet Jesus proclaimed.   None greater than John the Baptist it says in verse 11.  Jesus points out that the least in the kingdom of heaven was greater, meaning a saved person in the family of God.  That means a saved child of the Lord is greater than anyone here in the flesh.   John the Baptist did God’s Will in his life, and his job was to prepare a people for the Lord. 

Matthew Henry said this about verse 11 

There was not a greater born of women than John the Baptist, v. 11. Christ knew how to value persons according to the degrees of their worth, and he prefers John before all that went before him, before all that were born of women by ordinary generation. Of all that God had raised up and called to any service in his church, John is the most eminent, even beyond Moses himself; for he began to preach the gospel doctrine of remission of sins to those who are truly penitent; and he had more signal revelations from heaven than any of them had; for he saw heaven opened, and the Holy Ghost descend. He also had great success in his ministry; almost the whole nation flocked to him: none rose on so great a design, or came on so noble an errand, as John did, or had such claims to a welcome reception. Many had been born of women that made a great figure in the world, but Christ prefers John before them. Note, Greatness is not to be measured by appearances and outward splendour, but they are the greatest men who are the greatest saints, and the greatest blessings, who are, as John was, great in the sight of the Lord, Lu. 1:15.  [i] 

IV.  The Kingdom Has Been Rejected 

Mat 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.

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

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

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

 John would have been Elijah had the Jews accepted Christ as the Messiah and allowed him to bring in the kingdom at this time.   But they not only rejected the kingdom, but they rejected it violently.  Those that came to bear the Kingdom,  John the Baptist and Jesus Christ were met with violence.  Verse 13 points out how the Old Testament Prophets had prophesied of the kingdom coming, and this was the exact message that John the Baptist was preaching.  John came in the power and spirit of Elijah, although he was not Elijah.  As I mentioned earlier, had they accepted Christ as Messiah, he would have been Elijah.  God knew the Jews would reject Christ this time, and Elijah will still come one day.  This will be during the Great Tribulation period just before Christ comes to setup his kingdom at the close of the tribulation.    

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

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

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

Mat 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. 

The Kingdom was not rejected with knowledge, but was rejected due to foolish pride.  They rejected John although he came not eating or drinking.  Christ came eating with the publicans and sinners and they accused him of evil for doing it.   Thank the Lord Jesus cares about sinners and the lost.   Without that, none of us would ever have been saved. 

V.  Jesus Predicts Judgment Upon the Rejecter 

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

Mat 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.

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

Mat 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.

Mat 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. 

Jesus warns the towns of Chorazin and Bethsaida of coming judgment.   Christ did many great works in these cities but still they did not repent.  He tells them that if these works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, those people would have repented.   God for-knew those would believe and repent and those who would reject.   Capernaum was another city where many mighty works were done in it.   He states that if Sodom, that horrible wretched sin-filled city that was destroyed with fire and brimstone from heaven, had seen the works done in Capernaum, they would still remain.    

Mat 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.

Mat 11:26  Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.

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

Funny how some will listen and respond, and others will reject.  God is able to reveal things unto babes in Christ (those who are still childlike) and yet keep those things from the wise.   The wise of this world normally will not hear nor respond to the gospel. 

1 Cor 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.


1 Cor 1:26  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

1 Cor 1:27  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

1 Cor 1:28  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

1 Cor 1:29  That no flesh should glory in his presence.


VI.  True Rest and Peace can be Found Only in the Lord 

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

Mat 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.

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


There are two kinds of rest spoken of in these verses.  There is a given rest to the child of God and it is given at the time we are saved.   You know the feeling of joy and relief you had the day you were saved.  Then we see there is a ‘found’ rest as mentioned in verse 29.  We must come and take Christ’s yoke upon us, and then we will find a special rest that the world can never give us.  Christ is meek and lowly, and he wants us to be like him and be this way in our lives.     The battle is truly of the Lord’s, but we are to be willing to get in the yoke and do our share.  I think all who have put the yoke on know that the major part of the load is ALWAYS borne by Jesus.   But we are required to get in the yoke before we will find that special rest. 

J. Vernon McGee said this about the Yoke of the Lord.

This language is in contrast to what has preceded it in this chapter. It is like coming out of a blizzard into the warmth of a spring day, like passing from a storm into a calm, like going from darkness into light. This is a new message from Jesus. He turns from the corporate nation to the individual. It is no longer the national announcement about a kingdom but a personal invitation to find the “rest” of salvation.

“I will give you rest” is literally “I will rest you.” When He speaks of being “heavy laden,” He is referring to being burdened with sin. This same figure is used by Isaiah and the psalmist: “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward” (Isa. 1:4). “For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me” (Ps. 38:4).

My friend, sin is too heavy for you to carry—you’ll really get a hernia if you try to carry your load of sin! The only place in the world to put that burden is at the Cross of Christ. He bore it for you, and He invites you to come and bring your burden of sin to Him. He can forgive you because on the cross He bore the burden of your sin.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” refers to the salvation of the sinner through Jesus Christ. “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” refers to the practical sanctification of the believer. There is a rest which Jesus gives, and it is the rest of redemption. There is also a rest which the believer experiences, and it comes through commitment and consecration to Christ. You don’t have to worry about being recognized; you don’t have to jockey for position if you are committed to Christ. Frankly, I quit joining organizations because I got so tired of watching ambitious men trying to be chairman of something or trying to be president of something. If you are committed to Christ, you don’t have to worry about that. He will put you exactly where He wants you when you are yoked up to Him.  [ii] 


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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[i]Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.

[ii]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.