The NIV heading for the first section of chapter 11 is “Jesus and John the Baptist.” When Mary was pregnant with our Lord and Savior, she went to visit her relative Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John. As Mary approached Elizabeth, baby John “leaped in her womb” (Luke 1:41). This pre-natal activity was surely symbolic of the relationship between these two great characters, Jesus and John. Jesus the Savior and Lord; John the forerunner. John was the last great prophet of the Old Testament period. By this time, he had been imprisoned for challenging the immoral ways of the civil government heads. John was eager to know that Jesus truly was the one who would bring salvation. He wanted to be sure he had done his job. John was a great man and a faithful prophet, but he had no messianic complex. He knew his place. Blessed is the man who knows where he fits into God’s plan. The powers that be were not happy with either Jesus or John, but God’s wisdom was being shown.
Jesus spent much of his public ministry around the Sea of Galilee. He denounced the cities where so much of his miraculous activity had been done. Surely the cities of the Gentiles would have repented if they had the opportunity afforded to the people of Galilee! Perhaps even the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah would have repented, had they heard Jesus. What will we do with the message of God?
Jesus thanked God that common and lowly people were the first to receive his message. The greater the need, the more likely to receive the help afforded.
Are you weary of the ways of the world? Tired of sin and its penalties? Worn out with burdens and cares? Come to Jesus. He will pull more than his share of the load. He will bear your burdens and save your soul.
My comments are not an inspired commentary, but rather a few words to draw attention to the background, context, and dynamic situation of Matthew’s gospel. May God bless your reading of His Word. T.C.