Matthew 11 - O what a chapter of Holy Scripture
This chapter begins with the identification of the promised Messiah. The evidence was in His miracle working compassion and the preaching of the good news to the poor.
Then, in an unusual way He identifies John the Baptist. John was somewhat of a lone ranger who spent most of his time away from the cities, eating scant food and dressed in poor clothes. Yet the Lord Jesus identifies John as the promised ‘Elijah’ (Malachi 4:5) . As the forerunner of the Lord, he is described by the Lord as the greatest of the prophets.
The Lord Jesus presents the responsibility that comes with privilege. The people had opportunity to respond to John’s preaching of repentance, but many did not. They then had the opportunity to rejoice at the arrival of God’s Messiah, God’s Son, the Saviour of the world. But sadly most of the people just looked on with indifference. They didn’t want to change. So the Lord spells out the terms of final judgement –‘ it would be better for the wicked people of Sodom in the day of judgement, than for these religious people who saw the Lord, but would not believe!’ (Matthew 11.23-24).
Then in a moment of private prayer Jesus sums up the situation – “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding the truth from those who think themselves to be wise and clever, and for revealing it to the childlike.”
Then (please take this in slowly) He goes on to describe His relationship with God the Father – “My Father has given Me authority over everything.” What a claim to greatness, yet He goes on to say “I am meek and lowly in heart”! Unspoiled by the sin of pride and arrogance, He indeed is the only one who can give rest and peace .
But He is not finished ( and I admit I have skimmed over much).
He identifies Himself as the only one who can reveal the Father from the standpoint of relationship. Moses did well in revealing God for he was God’s servant. Jesus reveals God fully, being God’s Son.
How powerful and precious the invitation becomes:
“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest..............” ( read it again and keep reading until you find rest In HIM).
PS the compass of the Bible once again points to the Lord Jesus.