JANUARY 17 READING…Matthew 11
Chapter 11 can rightly be seen as the chapter of rejection…but it closes with an invitation to those who realize they need a Savior. Jesus is moving through the cities of the Galilee, and He hears from John’s disciples that John the Baptist is in prison. John’s disciples want to make sure that Jesus is the Messiah, and Jesus assures them that He is, and tells them to go back to John with the news. Then Jesus speaks of John and the ultimate rejection of John and his message by the people of Israel. Jesus tells them they go to see John for the spectacle, while the Lord went to see John because John is the prophet of God. The prophet Malachi spoke of him. Jesus said that John is the greatest among the prophets…and liken him to Elijah. Jesus spoke these truths because of their rejection of John and every prophet that came before him. Jesus tells them they rejected John because of his lifestyle…neither eating or drinking from the vine…they said he was demon possessed. Now Jesus comes both eating and drinking…and they call Him a glutton and a wine drinker. Those who reject God, will always find a reason to reject God. It is the way it has always been.
Then Jesus spoke to the cities on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. He says “woe” to both Chorazin and Bethsaida…this woe is to warn them of the judgment they would face because of their rejection of Jesus. Jesus said if what they had seen had happened in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented. These towns are without excuse…they have willfully chosen to reject Jesus as Messiah. Jesus then spoke to Capernaum…the main city of that day on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. This proud city would be brought down to hades. Jesus said that if Sodom had seen the mighty works that Capernaum saw, it would have repented and still standing to that day. Jesus warns that the judgment for them would be greater than it was for Sodom. When God reveals Himself clearly, and people just walk away rejecting Him, they are bringing God’s great judgment down on their own heads.
This chapter ends with Jesus giving an invitation to those who have ears to hear, and who know they have needs that they cannot meet. Jesus makes it clear that He has a special relationship with His Father in heaven. And no one can know either the Father or the Son apart from the will of God. So, the Lord offers an invitation to those who are tired, and loaded down with the things of life…to those who need rest, He offers true rest. Contrary to religion which puts heavy burdens on people…Jesus promises that His, “yoke is easy, and His burden is light.” Only Jesus can lift our burdens…and that only happens when we come to Him in faith, and believe in Him as Savior.
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.
TOMORROW'S READING…Matthew 12