The first part of Matthew 11 tells of how John the Baptist’s disciples came to inquire if Jesus really was the Christ. Jesus had been going through towns teaching, preaching, and healing, while John had been imprisoned for criticizing Herod Antipas, the king of the area. John may have been experiencing some worry and doubt. His prison cell kept him from going and seeing for himself if Jesus was the one he had prophesied about. John’s disciples went to question Jesus, hoping to bring back news to John.
And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind received their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” Matthew 11: 4-6 ESV
Jesus points to His signs and wonders as evidence that He is the Christ. He doesn’t rebuke John for asking the question, He simply tells John’s servants to report what they have seen: healing brought to the sick and the poor. Jesus’ power to heal not only displayed His compassion on the weak and broken, but also His divinity.
Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the might words done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Matthew 11:20-21 ESV
After making this statement to the crowds, Jesus speaks against the cities who turned a blind eye to Him and His message, stating that if he had done those same works in pagan, Gentile cities, he would have been greeted with great repentance. Instead, He was greeted with hardness of heart from people who refused to believe Him despite the wonders and healing he displayed. It can be dangerous for me to become to “accustom” to hearing about Christ and His power and no longer think deeply about it. Jesus’ power and grace should drive me to repentance and humbleness, not unrepentant complacency. He has offered comfort through the hardships of life to whoever takes up His offer. Even though, like John, I can go through periods of darkness and doubt, Jesus stays the same, offering comfort and peace throughout hardship.
“Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 ESV
Dear God, Thank You for Jesus. Thank You for Your compassion and mercy. Please help me never take Christ’s sacrifice for granted and to trust in You through hard times. I know you will protect and guide me. Thank You for giving me rest. In Your Holy Name, Amen.