Jesus and John the Baptist
1 When Jesus had finished giving these instructions to his twelve disciples, he went out to teach and preach in towns throughout the region.
2 John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, 3 “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting,[a] or should we keep looking for someone else?”
4 Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen—5 the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. 6 And tell him, ‘God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.[b]’”
Jesus, You are so gentle. Your cousin, the great John the Baptist doubts You. I would have been angry at him, but You just gently tell him to have faith.
How many times does this same scenario play out in my life. When things go a little bad, or seem out of control, I wonder where You are or perhaps even if You are. If it can happen to John, I guess it can happen to me. And Your answer is right here in front of me: “Don’t turn away.” or “Have faith”.
I know I should never doubt You, but I do sometmes. Not so much that I think about doubting You. more that I just make decisions based on what I see and feel, and not what faith in You. And now You gently call me to have faith. Lord increase my faith and help me to see You, and not doubt. Change me Lord. Realy, don’t let me stay the same.
7 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began talking about him to the crowds. “What kind of man did you go into the wilderness to see? Was he a weak reed, swayed by every breath of wind? 8 Or were you expecting to see a man dressed in expensive clothes? No, people with expensive clothes live in palaces. 9 Were you looking for a prophet? Yes, and he is more than a prophet. 10 John is the man to whom the Scriptures refer when they say,
‘Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
and he will prepare your way before you.’[c]
11 “I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is! 12 And from the time John the Baptist began preaching until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing,[d] and violent people are attacking it. 13 For before John came, all the prophets and the law of Moses looked forward to this present time. 14 And if you are willing to accept what I say, he is Elijah, the one the prophets said would come.[e] 15 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!
16 “To what can I compare this generation? It is like children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends,
and you didn’t dance,
so we played funeral songs,
and you didn’t mourn.’
17 ‘We played wedding songs,
18 For John didn’t spend his time eating and drinking, and you say, ‘He’s possessed by a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man,[f] on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!’ But wisdom is shown to be right by its results.”
Jesus, You couldn’t make people happy, why do I try so hard? There are a lot of people in my life that aren’t happy whether I play them a happy song or a sad one. Yet, I try to please them…and that is a sin.
I know I am not to try to offend people, but I sometimes offend You so I don’t offend them. And they are never happy anyway. I think I’m spending most of my life try to please someone who will never be happy. But it is hard to stop, because I am afraid of them.
You say “be not afraid”. I hear You. I hear the call. Another call to change. Will I have the courage to respond? Help me Lord.
Judgment for the Unbelievers
20 Then Jesus began to denounce the towns where he had done so many of his miracles, because they hadn’t repented of their sins and turned to God. 21 “What sorrow awaits you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have repented of their sins long ago, clothing themselves in burlap and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse. 22 I tell you, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you.
23 “And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead.[g] For if the miracles I did for you had been done in wicked Sodom, it would still be here today. 24 I tell you, even Sodom will be better off on judgment day than you.”
Jesus, we can all be so slow to believe. I wonder how much You had to do to get my attention. You have done so many wonderful things, even miracles, in my life. Open my eyes to see You holiness and majesty and mercy. Help me to somehow comprehend how I have been touched by the living God. Help my heart to be moved and my soul to fear.
And Lord, I have known what it is like to truly repent. I have had the broken heart and the tears of shame and sorrow for sinning against You. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. But now I am afraid I have dulled my sense of sin. My sorrow and shame seem so much less. Never let me take Your salvation for granted. Open my eyes to my sins. Let me feel the pain they caused You on the cross, or at least the sliver I can bear. Soften my heart, open my eyes…change me Lord.
Jesus’ Prayer of Thanksgiving
25 At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. 26 Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way!
Jesus, help me to always be humble. I’ve made enough mistakes in my life that I should never consider myself wise. But it isn’t just being humble, You want me to be childlike. To know You, and love You, and understand You, I must be childlike. What is childlike?
Are You simply asking me to read Your words and accept them as simple and true? Yes, children don’t twist words or read between the lines too much. No need for that with Your Word. You are who You are.
Father, I know I don’t deserve it, no one does, but reveal Your ways and Your truths to me. Help me be simple and childlike and accept what You reveal. And give me the faith to allow what You reveal to change me.
27 “My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Jesus, thank-you for choosing to reveal the Father to me I know I don’t completely know You or Him, but I know I know You a little. I know You want me to know You better. I don’t know shy. I don’t deserve it, that is for sure. But Your love is so awesome.. so forgiving. Help me to know You, the Father, and the Holy Spirit so much better.
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Jesus, why do I insist on carrying my burden, instead of Yours? As I go through my day I find problems and worries. I get upset and depressed. But all those things aren’t really mine, they truly are Yours. You tell me again and again that my job is to love and follow You in faith, and let You do the rest. In John’s gospel You tell me: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who remains in me will bear much fruit. Apart from Me, you can do nothing.” Yet I keep trying on my own. I keep forgetting to trust You, and only You.
Lord, as my day, or my life, goes along, and I find problems and worries, somehow help me remember to just trust You. Help me to look to You first. Do Your will first, and leave the rest to You. Thank-you Lord that You will do so much, and I really need to do so little, if I just let You. Change me Lord, so I have the faith and courage do do what You ask, not what I ask of myself or what others ask of me. Change me Lord.
- Matthew 11:3 Greek Are you the one who is coming?
- Matthew 11:6 Or who are not offended by me.
- Matthew 11:10 Mal 3:1.
- Matthew 11:12 Or the Kingdom of Heaven has suffered from violence.
- Matthew 11:14 See Mal 4:5.
- Matthew 11:19 “Son of Man” is a title Jesus used for himself.
- Matthew 11:23 Greek to Hades.