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Matthew 11:7-15 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 3 John the Baptist and the Kingdom Goal

Matthew 11:7-15 – John the Baptist and the Kingdom Goal

|| Luke 7:24-28

MT11:7 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus started to tell the crowds regarding John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see?[1] A breeze rattling some willows?[2] MT11:8 But, what did you go to see? A human dressed in soft clothes? Look! Those who wear soft clothes[3] are in royal houses. MT11:9 But, why did you come out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet.[4] MT11:10 This person is the one about whom it has been written,[5] ‘Look! I am sending forth My messenger[6] before your person. He will prepare your way ahead of you.’ [Isaiah 40:3] MT11:11 I tell you this truth: None generated by women have been raised up who are greater than[7] John the Baptist. But, a lesser person[8] in the Realm of the Heavens[9] is greater than John. MT11:12 From the days of John the Baptist right up until now the Realm of the Heavens is being zealously pursued[10] and those in energetic pursuit are grabbing for it. MT11:13 For the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John.[11] MT11:14 And, if you wish to accept it – John is Elijah,[12] the one who was to come. MT11:15 Let the person with ears listen.”[13]

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File:Accademia - St John the Baptist by Titian Cat314.jpg

St John the Baptist by Titian, Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice.

[1] What did you go out into the wilderness to see: We have learned earlier that all Judea went out into the desert to see this strange prophet who dressed primitively and eat honey and locusts.

[2] A breeze rattling some willows: Possibly a bit of sarcasm? Others render this phrase: KJV: a reed shaken with the wind; RIEU: a reed swaying in the wind; NEB: a reed-bed swept by the wind. As a metaphor John the Baptist could not be characterized like a reed-willow easily blown about (Ephesians 4:14). Rather, he was stalwart and firm – even dogmatic.

[3] Soft clothes: John was dressed roughly in harsh clothing. His clothes and manner must have attracted inquisitive crowds wondering about this strange man. The phrase is rendered by others: WMS: silks and satins; NJB: fine clothes.

[4] More than a prophet: The Bible is fill with “prophets” of the two types: the one foretelling events and the one declaring God’s righteous will. The word “prophet” occurs over 500 times in the Bible. Jesus makes clear the Baptist is more than just a prophet and he now explains what he means. The idea of saying that someone is more or greater than another is something Jesus uses several times. Compare Matthew 12:41, 42; Luke 11:31, 32.

[5] It has been written: Jesus quotes Isaiah 40:3.

[6] My messenger: Literally the Greek is “my angel.”

[7] Who are greater than: John the Baptist is at least equal to Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, or Elijah.

[8] A lesser person: The Greek is MICROTEROS and is rendered: KJV: least; ASV: little; PME: humble.

[9] In the Realm of the Heavens: It is possible this phrase is limited to that Realm of Profession, or the territory or domain over which Lord Messiah reigns – his congregation of disciples. In other words: the most humble member of the Christian Church is greater than John the Baptist and therefore greater than all the ancient worshippers of God. See notes in Matthew chapter 13 on identifying the “kingdom of the heavens.” Some also believe this to mean John the Baptist and the ancient patriarchs would not attain to heaven but would be raised in the resurrection of the righteous on earth (John 3:13; Hebrews 11:39, 40; 1 Corinthians 15:20-24).

[10] Zealously pursued: This is a classically difficult text. Most translators tend toward the idea that the kingdom is attacked violently and the violent seize it. However, from John the Baptist to the present of Jesus’ statement there is little evidence of persecution against the King or his realm. The Greek word here is BIAZETAI and its root meaning is “violent.” Jesus repeats the word group in the next phrase (See Acts 2:2). The word is rare in this form. However, there are two verses in Luke which might shed light on the Nazarene’s intent. Luke 13:24 literally means, ‘agonize to enter through the narrow door.’ And, the parallel in Luke to Matthew here is, ‘everyone is violently forcing [BIAZETAI] themselves into (the Kingdom of The God).’ This could mean violent men force themselves violently into the kingdom; or, it could mean the agonizing struggle to enter the realm of profession. This is the first interpretation the New Jerusalem Bible gives in its footnote “f” – “1. The praiseworthy violence, the bitter self-sacrifice, of those who would take possession of the kingdom.” Strong’s (#971, #973) offers “vital activity, energetic.” Thayer’s (page 101) says: “a share in the heavenly Kingdom is sought for with the most ardent zeal and the intense exertion… utmost eagerness.” Thus, the context and the parallel in Luke suggests the possibility that Jesus is describing the agonizing zeal his disciples have demonstrated in their pursuit of the “kingdom” – willing to make any sacrifice, willing to surrender their soul in the process.

William Barclay suggests a possibility: “‘The Kingdom of the Heaven is not for the well-meaning but for the desperate,’ that no one drifts into the Kingdom, that the Kingdom only opens it doors to those who are prepared to make as great an effort to get into it as men do when they storm a city.… Only the man who is desperately in earnest, only the man in whom the violence of devotion matches and defeats the violence of persecution will in the end enter into it.” (Matthew, Volume 2. page 8)

[11] Prophets and the Law prophesied until John: The complete phrase linking the Law and the Prophets is used by Jesus elsewhere (Matthew 5:17; 7:12; 11:13; 22:40). There is now to be a great transition. Hebrews 1:1 states that The God used to speak in a variety of ways to the prophets of old, but now speaks to us by means of a Son. With the coming of John the Baptist in the year 29 AD a new season, a new age begins to open up – a Messianic one. Grace and Truth will now come by means of Jesus the Nazarene (John 1:17).

[12] John is Elijah: Jesus explains this to his own disciples elsewhere (Matthew 17:10-13; Mark 9:11-13). Compare Luke 1:17. Elijah’s name (My God is Yah) occurs 100 times in the Bible and most importantly at Malachi 4:5 where the prophet is foretold to appear before the Day of Yehowah. The end of the Jewish Temple Age is upon that generation. The name Elijah only occurs twice outside the Gospels (Romans 11:2; James 5:17). Note Elijah is missing by name in the Book of Revelation. He is alluded to at Revelation 11:5, 6.

[13] Let the person with ears listen: This becomes in Revelation a phrase identified with Jesus (Revelation 2:7). PME: the man who has ears to hear must use them.

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Preceding

Matthew 11– Intro to The Nazarene’s Commentary: Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities

Matthew 11:1 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 1 Twelve Sent out to Teach

Matthew 11:2-6 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 2 Imprisoned Baptist Encouraged

Bring praise to the Creator

Often people moan about their life. It is as if they do not like to be here on this world. Many think the grass is greener somewhere else.

We have our good and our bad days on this earth. Some days we like it here very much, other days we hate it. Most of us do have questions why we are here and what life is all about. Many also wonder how they came about and what the reason of all the things that happen are. Lots of people only think of God when something goes wrong and than they question Him. It is not that God is silent when bad things happen here or when justice appears not to be meted out on our terms for the terrors of this world. It is also not God who created the terrors of this world. People do forget that most of the difficulties which come over them are a result of them leaving God, not listening to His ordinances. Most people have separated themselves  from the Creator, Jehovah God.

The Creator has always walked alongside His people and was always longsuffering, patient and waiting for any of us that would turn to Him. He provided the solution for mankind to come back to Him, but many still do not see the Restoration. God gave His only begotten son as The Way to come to Him. His door, through Christ, is always open.

One of the main problems of the human beings is that they put their trust in mere man. They look forward that other men can find a political solution to make this life better. Some look to their idols to inspire them, other put all their trust in so called powerful persons.  They all forget that no ordinary man shall be capable to find the most sublime best solution. They hope to find any kind of consistency and salvation in mankind.  They forget what happened in passed time. Many do not know the history of mankind.

English: Plaque at coastal viewpoint Quoting a...

Plaque at coastal viewpoint Quoting a Psalm in the praise of the Creator God. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In case more people would know the history of the world and religion they would know that the reasons why it is such a mess is that people have far gone off the Law of God. Many our blinded, even when they do think they are religious and belonging to a church. In those churches they eat dogmatic words and often have not much Words of God coming unto them. Words of pastors and men surround them. Some of them want to bring the flock to see through the mist, to look at God, who alone is our rock and source of eternal lifeGod alone is worthy of our praise.

And because humankind does not recognises the works of the Creator, they also do not praise enough. In case they would praise more they would also be more enlightened.

Praise is not some non-emotional reaction – it is a holistic pouring out of self to lift up our voice and spirit to the Lord.  It isn’t a suggestion – it is a command.  It is an action.  It requires us to be totally involved emotionally, spiritually and physically.

Praising the Most High, Creator of all things, should become a way of life.

For every God loving person it is a way of living. It is a lifestyle.

Praising God is something that comes in earnest from the heart. It is the fulfilment of the grace of love. To Praise God involves all of the individual ‘I’.

To praise the Almighty God isn’t some external only action. It involves our entire being.  It takes all of us, down to our very soul, to praise Jehovah, God of all gods, King of all kings and King of all gods.

Praising God, is showing our love to Him and giving Him notice that we do not put ​our​ trust in nobles, nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs. It is recognising how small we are and that when we come to the end of our life our spirit goes out and we go back to the ground of this world, becoming dust. It is recognising that in the day of our death it shall be the day that our thoughts do perish.

Simeon's song of praise.

Simeon’s song of praise. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By praising Jehovah, using His Name, we show Him that we want to give ourselves to Him and that we want to show are thanks for the many blessed moments we get in this life, though it may also be filled with difficult moments and moments never to be remembered. But by praising God we show Him and the world around us that we are belonging to the happy ones who has the God of Jacob for their help, whose hope is in Jehovah their God,  the Maker of heaven and earth, of the sea, and of all that is in them, the One keeping trueness to time indefinite.

By praising Him alone we show the world and its Creator that we are willing to give ourselves in the hand of the Elohim, the One executing judgement for the defrauded ones, the One giving bread to the hungry ones, because we know that Jehovah is releasing those who are bound. We are sure that Jehovah is opening our eyes and even those of the blind ones.

In case we do bow down in front of God He might raise us up.

Jehovah is loving the righteous ones and is guarding the alien residents. Wherever we may be on this earth or this universe God is willing to be with us. When we call unto Him He shall come unto us.

Giving praise to Jehovah the king to time indefinite, we let Him know that we do recognise those facts, as written in His Word, the Bible. We do recognise that His Word is infallible and let it inspire us every hour of the day. Reading in the Bible is also a form of praising God, often forgotten by many. It is like reading the love letter from your most beloved over and over again, thinking of Him all the time, wanting to be close by Him.

We should take as much time as we can in the Word of God, reading it and taking it at heart. By reading those Words of Hope we shall get to know better the rock on which our fortress shall stand strong. In the Words of God we shall be able to find who is our Deliverer; our God being our rock, in whom we take refuge.

He is my and your shield and the horn of my and your salvation, my and your stronghold, in case you are willing to recognise the Most High. His only begotten son made it possible for all people to be reconciled again with the Father of all. It is on Him that we should call. Jesus learned his followers to pray to his Father with the words ‘Our Father’. Yes we can say “Our Father” to the creator of all things and praise Him. We also can ask Him many things in the name of His son Jesus.

Let us be humble enough and give praise to the right one. Praise to the LORD of lords, who is worthy of praise.

We need to recognize God and His sovereignty continually. And we should praise Him with all our heart,with all our soul, but also we are told

I will sing praises to my God while I have my being”.

"Jehovah" at Exodus 6:3 (1611 King J...

“Jehovah” at Exodus 6:3 (1611 King James Version) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That reinforces the lifelong aspect of praise, but also that singing is one way we should be lifting up His name.  We should praise Him with our voice.  It isn’t something we should always do in a closet but verbally and often in front of others. His son also asked his pupils to go out in the world and proclaim the Name of the Father. This Name: Jehovah, should sound all over the world, through many generations.

We should let as many as possible know that we love Jehovah our God, for generation after generation.

It is a personal relationship with us the Creator God desires.  Not because He needs us, but because He loves us.  He desires that we enter into His presence and have a relationship.
Do you have that with God?
Are you praising Him with all your soul?
If not, today is the day to begin.  He is worthy.  He deserves and desires our praise!

“Praise Jah, ​YOU​ people!”

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Next: Praise Jehovah, ​You people

Preceding:

Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:67-80 – Zechariah’s Prophecy

We are redeemed; we are “bought with a price”

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Please also do read:

  1. Jehovah God Almighty greater than all gods
  2. Creator and Blogger God 5 Things to tell
  3. Fear and protection
  4. For Jehovah is greatly to be praised
  5. Praise be to God
  6. Praise the most High Jehovah God above all
  7. Song of Praise for the Elohim Set-Apart
  8. Songs of Moses and the servants of God
  9. Worship and worshipping
  10. Dealing With the “Silence” of God
  11. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  12. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #1 Listening Sovereign Maker
  13. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #13 Prayer #11 Name to be set apart
  14. Good and bad things in this world
  15. Longsuffering
  16. Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be
  17. Looking at the Source of joy
  18. God our refuge
  19. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  20. sinking world….
  21. Best intimate relation to look for
  22. Look for your Refuge by God

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Please do find also of interest:

Previous articles on this subject:

  1. Contents of the Book of Revelation
  2. The Song of The Lamb #1 Visions, symbols and suggested meanings
  3. The Song of The Lamb #2 Sevens
  4. The Song of The Lamb #3 Daniel and Revelation
  5. The Song of The Lamb #4 Methods of Interpretation
  6. The song of the lamb #5 Revelation 5
  7. The Song of The Lamb #6 Revelation 14
  8. The Song of The Lamb #7 Revelation 15
  9. Kingdom Visions of a Man, Throne and Great crowd
  10. Kingdom Visions of Rainbowed angel, Lamb in Mount Zion
  11. Kingdom Visions of God’s judgements and Marriage of the Lamb
  12. 144 000 following the Lamb
  13. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  14. Seals, a flying scroll, a statue and blessings
  15. Songs of Moses and the servants of God
  16. Attributes to God, names and titles
  17. Believe in only One God
  18. God is one
  19. Suffering through the apparent silence of God

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