The Messenger Of The King
Our Text: Matthew Chapter 11:1-30
We have a time line from the information of verse one. When Christ Jesus had sent out the Apostles then these things of chapter eleven take place:
Mat 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
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].
We are never alone. If by God’s will you are called to do something for God, you must realize that Christ Himself is also out working and if He is working then God is working.
There is no work yet to be done in the means of salvation, Christ finished that work on the Cross. There is only the work given to every one that calls on the name of Jesus to be fulfilled:
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Christ Jesus, is the Lord of the Harvest, as He sent forth laborers, He also enters into the Harvest Himself.
What we will see in these scriptures is more of the fading of John the Baptist and also more of the rejection of the King as we proceed.
While Christ Jesus was ministering around Galilee, John the Baptist had preached boldly to all that would listen and he had gotten the attention of government. It is a shame that the people that make the laws are usually more guilty of breaking the laws they have put in place. Just as in our day the government of Herod was corrupt and immoral and when God’s people point these things out then, God’s Children and God’s Ministers are treated like the bad guys. The hate crimes legislation that is coming more and more into this world is centered against the Word of God.
We cannot allow this to stop the preaching of the truth of the Gospel.
Joh 15:22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
The government of Herod had put John the Baptist behind bars but the world would see that though they reject the truth of the Word of God, the world cannot stop the Word of God.
Luk 3:19 But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,
Luk 3:20 Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.
It amazes me when I see day by day what our government does in the name “of the good of the people” but no matter, by that same Word of God, I must pray for them.
The Word of God will bring change to the individual and it takes individuals to make families, and communities and nations. Sadly the world and it’s governments are on their way to destruction and do not want to see change. They see themselves above the law!
John the Baptist was locked up because he preached the truth of God’s Holy Word!
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 shew 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.
We will see in this passage:
1.) A disheartened John the Baptist.
2.) The assurance given by the Lord Jesus.
3.) A commendation given by the Lord Jesus.
You know it should have been that the religious leaders should have come to the defence of John the Baptist, for John preach the truth of the Word of God but instead they remained quiet or they sided with government.
This is just a taste of how religion and government will work together in the coming years and during the first part of the tribulation period after the Church is called out. This “sign” we can see now in the very day we live in.
Religion will send you to hell. Only Jesus Christ, “the Rejected One”, can save us.
Sure John got impatient. John was a man of the wild and now he was locked in a dungeon behind four walls. John was a preacher with the Word of God burning in his heart, yet government had silenced him. John had preached judgment yet that judgment had not yet come.
Once Christ had sent the Apostles out to preach and He also, many good reports were being heard and some had reached John in prison. John knew that the Messiah was to put down oppression and deliver Israel. John was ready to see these things happen.
The miracles that Christ did were supernatural, not natural and they conformed to the Old Testament concept of the Messiah. The only evidence Christ Jesus would send back to John was this same evidence given to the nation of Israel everywhere Christ preached.
The Bible says:
Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Isa 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
Isa 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
Isa 42:6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
Isa 42:7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
Isa 35:4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.
Isa 35:5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Isa 35:6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
John the Baptist knew all these things but he showed impatience and wanted some reassurance from the Lord Jesus.
John had come in the in the spirit and the power of Elijah, but remember even Elijah had had his days of discouragement.
We get our assurance from the Bible knowing that Christ Jesus has fulfilled and will fulfill all prophesy. We know He died on the Cross and was raised from that dead. That tomb is still empty! We know of all the great things our Lord did while on this earth and we know He is coming back to get us.
John’s faith was in the Old Testament, he believed Christ was the Messiah but he had only heard of the works of Christ for a few months. We may see doubt in John but we need to look at our own selves for do we even have the faith that John had?
“And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me”
When things do not go the way we expect them to go, do we let our guard down and start blaming God for our sorrows. We are wrong when we do!
John reached out for answers and he reached out to Christ Jesus for it is He that has all the answers. John knew if Jesus could fulfill what was written in Isaiah then He truly was the Messiah.
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.
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.
Christ Jesus then turned to the multitudes, many of whom had heard the preaching of John the Baptist and had believed. John stood before all that came and John preached the truth of God’s Word. He didn’t bend or yield to the majority, He spoke the truth and the One God, who over rules all earthly authority. John preached the same message to Herod that he would preach to you or to I.
The Bible says:
1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 15:58 Therefore, [my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord], forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
We must resist any attempt to change to God’s Word, knowing that such change is of the Devil:
1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1Pe 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
We must help each other so we can all stand on God’s Word:
Heb 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Heb 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
John was not a reed that swayed in the breeze. John also did not seek physical comforts. You see there is comfort in this world for only a season. The comforts and the things of God are eternal. John was not perfect nor was he infallible.
Jesus declared John to be a “prophet”, that is a messenger from God who declared that message. John himself was actually a fulfillment of prophesy:
Mal 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
Mal 3:2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:
Mal 3:3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
John’s message was one of repentance! John the Baptist was greater than any of the prophets for he was the prophet that introduced the Messiah to Israel. The others had only foretold of His coming. The ministry of John the Baptist marked the climax of the Law and the Prophets.
John had actually come in the spirit and power of Elijah:
Luk 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
John had even dressed like Elijah:
2Ki 1:7 And he said unto them, What manner of man was he which came up to meet you, and told you these words?
2Ki 1:8 And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite.
Like Elijah, John had a message of judgment for an apostate nation:
Isa 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
We should not get confused because the Bible still states that Elijah will come but that will be in the tribulation period:
Mal 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
Mal 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
This will be just before the second coming of Christ and is most probably during the time of the two witnesses:
Rev 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
Rev 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
Mat 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
We know in history no such judgments followed this time of John the Baptist.
John had one ministry. He was to prepare the nation of Israel to receive the Lord Jesus Christ and to present Jesus to this nation:
Joh 1:30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.
Joh 1:31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
Joh 1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
Joh 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.
Joh 1:34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
The leaders of Israel refused to honor John and the Word he spoke:
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].
We can see that Jesus Christ was dealing with the rejection in this little parable. The religious and the government of the nation of Israel were going to have their own way no matter what the cost. Just as children at play reject the ideas of others and insist on their own way so when John came fasting the Jews rejected him. When Christ came and did not fast He also was rejected. This generation found fault no matter what was done.
We can see this continuing in our day as the Word of God is rejected by those that have their own humanistic way and cannot be changed.
The Bible says:
Pro 17:24 Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.
Wisdom is an Old Testament name of Our Lord. In fact in Proverbs 8 it says that Wisdom is a person and that person is Our Lord:
Pro 8:32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.
Pro 8:33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.
Pro 8:34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
Pro 8:35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.
Pro 8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
Those that believe are the children of Wisdom thus the children of God!
It is now after these words that we see our first mention of the word “woe” the “judgment of God”. Christ now pronounced judgment on those that reject His Works, His Miracles. Christ explains that the Gentiles would have believed had they witnessed such glorious works and would have received His message.
In other words there is a separation of His Word and of the His Kingdom.
In other words there will be degrees of punishment.
Those that have witnessed the power of God and rejected that power will suffer more than those that have not seen Jesus and the Works that He did while He was on this Earth.
Similarly this will hold true in our day. Those that witnessed the life changing of those that have received the Lord Jesus and still reject His Gospel will suffer more than those that have never heard the Word of God.
Why did the Jews, who knew and had the Old Testament at this time, reject Christ Jesus. Some will say that Jesus did not fulfill the Messianic prophesies. Some will say that Jesus could not fulfill His claims. Christ Jesus will now give us the real reason.
Jesus said this nation, His own people, were blind and unable to see until this blindness was removed:
The Bible says:
Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Rom 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
Rom 11:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
We can know that they will get another opportunity during the tribulation period after the Church has been called out.
We can also see that during the Church Age that their are many Gentiles that walk that same path but they will not get another chance during the tribulation period after the Church is called out:
Eph 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
Eph 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
Eph 4:19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
The religious leaders of Israel considered themselves to be wise and learned because they were students of the scriptures. They thought of themselves as already having the right relationship with God so they rejected the words of Jesus Christ.
Christ said if you did not have child like faith you would never accept His Words.
The only way to know the Father is to know His Son. If men will not accept this simple statement they will never know the Father who is in Heaven:
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
Jesus Christ will readily reveal the Father to all that call on His name.
Even in the middle of all this rejection, Christ Jesus extended His hand in mercy. He invited them to receive His “yoke”.
The “yoke” is a symbol of submission. Not only to submit to Him but to learn from Him. True salvation is found only in a person, it is not found in traditions. That person is Jesus Christ. To “come” means to trust Him.
These people were burdened down by the traditions of the Pharisees.
To “take” that yoke upon yourself is a deeper relationship with Christ Jesus. It is He that will give us rest.
We will have peace with God:
Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
We will have the peace of God:
Php 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Php 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
To take the “yoke” of Christ is to be His disciple. That word “easy” means that the yoke will fit us well. That yoke is made for our lives and it will not be heavy:
1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
To “learn”: To learn of Christ Jesus is to make life simple!
The Lord Jesus Christ sends this invitation out to “all”, not just to the Nation of Israel.
Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
That “ROCK” is Jesus Christ Our Lord.