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Posts tagged ‘John the Baptist’

Matthew 16:13-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Building a Hades-Proof Congregation

Matthew 16:13-20 – Building a Hades-Proof Congregation

|| Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-21

MT16:13 Upon arriving in the area of Caesarea Philippi[1] Jesus asked his disciples, “Whom do people say[2] the Son of Humankind is?” MT16:14 The disciples answered, “Some: John the Baptist;[3] others: Elijah;[4] still others: Jeremiah[5] or one of the prophets.” MT16:15 Jesus asked them, “But, you [disciples], who do you think me to be?”[6] MT16:16 Simon Peter responded, “You are the Messiah,[7] the Son of The Living God!”[8] MT16:17 Jesus replied to Peter: “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-jonah,[9] because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you,[10] rather it was my heavenly Father. MT16:18 And so I tell you: You are Peter[11] and upon this rock[12] I will build my Church[13] and the gates of Hades[14] will never triumph[15] over it! MT16:19 I will give you[16] [Peter] the keys of the Realm[17] of Heaven. What ever you [Peter] bind on earth[18] will be bound[19] in heaven, and whatever you release[20] upon earth will be released in heaven.” MT16:20 Then Jesus gave the disciples a rebuke[21] so that they would tell no one that he was the Messiah.[22]

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[1] Caesarea Philippi: After 70 AD, General Titus held gladiatorial shows here. He used captured Jews as victims [The Jewish War, VII, 23, 24 (ii, 1)]. The name was changed (after 70 AD) to its older name Paneas. In Arabic this became Banyas. The use of Caesar Philippi would argue the Gospel of Matthew would have had to be written before 70 AD. See the book The Jesus Papyrus. Josephus describes a deep cave filled with still water that is the spring source of the Jordan river. It was turned into royal gardens.

[2] Whom do people say: What is the talk or gossip among the crowds? The time has approached for Jesus to begin to declare himself more clearly to his disciples.

[3] John the Baptist: Compare Matthew 14:2 and Luke 9:7. Herod thought John so great he may well return from the dead.

[4] Elijah: Jesus is to explain this later. Compare Malachi 4:5.

[5] Jeremiah: Some Jews thought Jeremiah had taken the Ark of the Covenant and hid it on Mount Nebo. Tradition had it before Messiah appeared Jeremiah would return with the Ark (See 2 Maccabees 2:1-12; 2 Esdras 2:18).

[6] Who do you think me to be: After more than a year or two of association with Jesus he asks for their opinion as to his identity. Peter speaks for the apostles.

[7] You are the Messiah: Or, the Christ, that is, The Christened (Anointed) One. Likely the original in Hebrew would have been Ma·shi’ach. This designation is drawn from Psalm 2:1, Isaiah 61:1, and Daniel 9:26.

[8] The Son of The Living God: Nowhere does Peter suspect that Jesus was God Himself. Everywhere he is the “Son of The God” – the same conclusion reached by John 20:31. Peter writes later about a further confirmation of the Sonship of Christ (2 Peter 1:17). The idea of God’s Son is drawn largely from Psalm 2:6, 7 and Psalm 89:26 (Compare 2 Samuel 7:14).

[9] Simon Bar-jonah: Or, Son of Jonah. The “Bar” in place of “Ben” hints to an Aramaic original. Peter’s full name in Aramaic. “Simon” is related to the Hebrew root “hear” or “listen.”

[10] Reveal this to you: The Greek for “reveal” is APECALYPSEN. This could have been revealed to Peter by understanding, for example, Psalm 2:1, 7 (a text he later quotes in Acts 4:24f) where the Christ is also the Son of God. Additionally, he had been eyewitness to the miracles of Jesus.

[11] You are Peter: The Greek is the masculine “Rock.” Or, NEB: Peter, the Rock; TCNT: Peter, a rock.

[12] This rock: Or, TCNT: Your name is Peter, a rock, and upon this Rock I will build my Church; WMS: your name from now on is to be Peter, Rock, and on a massive rock like this I will build my Church; MON: you are Petros (a rock), and on this petra (rock) I will build my church. The Greek has PETRA here, the feminine of Petros. Some view this as Peter (Barclay), other’s Christ (Augustine). The Catholic view is that the Church would be built upon the rock Peter. Some Protestants make much of the masculine and feminine differences of the two words (PETROS, PETRA). However, the context seems directed at Peter in these verses; and, the facts in Acts indicate Peter’s prominence in presenting the Evangel to first the Jews, then the Samaritans, and, finally, the Non-Jews (Galatians 2:7).

[13] I will build my Church: The Greek ECCLESIA is recognizable throughout Europe as the word for a “church.” Some render it “congregation” or “assembly.” The word means EK(=out)KALEO(=call). The old Scottish word “church” is from KIRK an Anglicization of the Greek KYRIOS (Lord).

[14] The gates of Hades: Research the word HADES for details. Or, KJV: hell; GDSP: powers of death; LAM: doors of Sheol. Compare 1 Corinthians 15:50-55.

[15] Never triumph: Or, KJV: no prevail; GDSP: not subdue; WMS: never overthrow; WEY: no triumph over.

[16] I will give you: The Greek “you” is singular and refers to Peter. Note the immediate context is the rock upon which Jesus will build his Church.

[17] The keys of the Realm: Not the keys of heaven as in the mistaken traditional picture. Rather, it refers to the door into the Church, or the realm of profession. Some take these keys as three in number and reference their use in Acts chapters 2, 8, and 10 – the Jews, Samaritans, and Non-Jews as the first members of the church or kingdom of Christ (Colossians 1:13).

[18] What ever you [Peter] bind on earth: An example of this is seen in the cases of the lying materialists Ananias and Sapphira (Acts chapter 5).

[19] Bound: Or, KJV: bind; RIEU: forbid; MOF: prohibit.

[20] Release: Or, KJV: loose; RIEU: allow; MOF: permit; TCNT: allow. Compare John 20:23 and Matthew 18:18.

[21] A rebuke: Or, KJV: strictly charged; KNX: strictly forbade; BECK: warned; NEB: strict orders. It is not a mere suggestion. Another rebuke, even more stern, is about to happen.

[22] Tell no one that he was the Messiah: Though the disciples understand the fundamental truth that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God they still do not comprehend other prophetic truths which will now be explained. The Nazarene wanted people to arrive at their own conclusions without a public proclamation. The disciples were not yet ready to explain all that being the Messiah meant as the account goes on to demonstrate in Peter’s case. Jesus gives this warning several times (Matthew 8:4; Mark 7:36; 8:30; 9:9; Luke 5:14; 8:56; 9:21)..

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Preceding

Matthew 16 Asking for signs from heaven

Matthew 16 Calvin’s view

Matthew 16 Spurgeon’s view

Matthew 16:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Signs of the Times

Matthew 16:5-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Watch Out for the Leaven of False Teaching

Matthew 2:16-18 – Slaughter of the Innocents

Matthew 13:44 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Treasure

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Additional reading

  1. A rich history of ancient and Biblical Jordan to explore
  2. Self inflicted misery #4 To whom to listen
  3. Self inflicted misery #5 A prophet without a hedge around him
  4. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  5. Jesus begotten Son of God #16 Prophet to be heard
  6. The saviour Jesus his human side
  7. Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh
  8. Memorizing wonderfully 31 Son of David and God’s Kingdom
  9. Servant of his Father
  10. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites
  11. United people under Christ
  12. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  13. Congregation – Congregatie
  14. Meeting – Vergadering
  15. Democratic principles for the church of today
  16. Intentions of an Ecclesia

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Related

  1. A sheep or not a sheep?
  2. Do You love Me?
  3. Ministry of Congregating
  4. All you, people
  5. In the Congregation
  6. Church?
  7. Bearing Witness
  8. DNA in a Congregation
  9. The Beauty of “The Church”
  10. Counting the cost: Mark 14
  11. Study | Church Beginnings
  12. 1A. Called To Be a Disciple
  13. 3. Confessed Jesus To Be the Christ
  14. Fact vs Fiction: Who was the Apostle Peter?
  15. Simon Called Peter
  16. Jesus Commissions Peter
  17. Peter the First Pope?
  18. Simon Peter and Pope Peter the same?
  19. The ‘Simon Peter’ Paradox
  20. Simon Peter is Cool
  21. 1B. Appointed To Be an Apostle
  22. Michael Kok: Hinderance to Petrine Authorship of 1 Peter
  23. The Calling and Ministry of Peter – A Night of Worship/Illustrated Sermon
  24. Study | Experiencing Glory

Matthew 14:1-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: John Beheaded

|| Mark 6:14-29; Luke 9:7-9

MT14:1 At this time Herod[1] the Tetrarch[2] heard what people were saying about Jesus. MT14:2 Herod told his servant-boys, “This person is John the Baptist raised from the dead, and it is because of this he is able to perform dynamic works.” MT14:3 For Herod, because of his woman Herodias[3] (wife of his brother Philip[4]), had seized John and put him in prison. MT14:4 John had been telling Herod, “It is illegal for you to have her.”[5] MT14:5 So Herod wanted to kill John but he feared the crowd because they thought John was a prophet. MT14:6 Now when Herod’s birthday[6] was being celebrated the daughter of Herodias[7] danced among them and pleasured Herod so much MT14:7 that he made a sworn oath to give her whatever she requested. MT14:8 Having been coached by her mother, she said, “Here, upon a plate, the head of John the Baptist!” MT14:9 This grieved the king because of his oaths and [because] of those reclining with him. So he gave the command MT14:10 and sent for John to be beheaded in prison. MT14:11 John’s head was delivered on a plate and given to the maiden[8] and she took it to her mother. MT14:12 John’s disciples came forward, removed the corpse and buried him. Others arrived and reported back to Jesus. MT14:13 Having heard this Jesus departed from there in a boat into a solitary and secluded place.[9] When the crowds[10] heard this they set out on foot from the cities to follow him.

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[1] Herod: The name occurs 55 times in the Gospels. It is a family name of Edomites. Their history is recorded by Josephus. This is Herod Antipas. Search the word Herod and see dictionaries.

[2] Tetrarch: Meaning “ruler of one-fourth.” Or, TCNT: prince; GDSP: governor.

[3] Herodias: Compare Matthew 14:1-11; Mark 6:16-28; Luke 3:19, 20; 9:9. See Jewish Antiquities, XVIII, 240-256 (vii, 1, 2); The Jewish War, II, 181-183 (ix, 6).

[4] Philip: The father of Salome by Herodias, the “maiden” who danced for Herod Antipas.

[5] It is illegal for you to have her: Or, KJV: it is not lawful; RIEU: telling him he could not marry; NJB: it is against the Law. Compare Leviticus 18:16 and Leviticus 20:21 (Matthew 19:9).

[6] Birthday: The Greek is GENESIOIS. Only one other “birthday” is mentioned directly in the Bible (Genesis 40:20). Some feel birthdays are meant in Job 1:4, 5 and Hosea 7:5. Renowned historian Augustus Neander says: “The notion of a birthday festival was far from the ideas of the Christians of this period.” (The History of the Christian Religion and Church, During the Three First Centuries, translated by H. J. Rose, 1848, p. 190) The Catholic Encyclopedia states: “Origen [a writer of the third century C.E.]… insists that ‘of all the holy people in the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners (like Pharaoh and Herod) who make great rejoicings over the day on which they were born into this world below.’” (1913, Vol. X, p. 709) M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclopaedia (1882, Vol. I, p. 817) says, “(The Jews) regarded birthday celebrations as parts of idolatrous worship…, and this probably on account of the idolatrous rites with which they were observed in honor of those who were regarded as the patron gods of the day on which the party was born.” Whether Christians in modern periods should avoid birthday celebrations because Jews may have refused is a choice for each conscience. Some refrain others do not.

[7] Daughter of Herodias: She is known as Salome.

[8] The maiden: The Greek is KORASIO. Or, KJV: damsel; MON: young girl; NJB: girl. We can only speculate on the manner of her dance but we suppose it was intimate and erotic and perhaps directed at Herod.

[9] Into a solitary and secluded place: If the above was done to John because of his accusation against Herod’s relationship with Herodias, it can only be imagined what lays ahead for the Son of Humankind. Escaping into private and isolated spots was something Jesus did often. Or, KJV: desert place apart; TCNT: retired privately to a lonely spot; WEY: uninhabited and secluded; RIEU: a deserted place where he could be alone. Compare Mark 6:31; 9:10.

[10] The crowds: There is no rest for such a famous and renowned person. This “crowd” is later revealed to be at least 5,000 strong.

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Preceding

Matthew 2:1-6 – Astrologers and Priests in a Satanic Plot

Matthew 13:53-58 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Where Did He Get Such Wisdom?

Matthew 14 – Faith Small and Great – Key words: Dynamic Works

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Related

  1. Daily Mass: The death of John the Baptist
  2. The Story of Two Feasts
  3. Herod Antipas: The Would-Be King
  4. Why It Is Important to Overcome Resentment
  5. Drama 7-15-18
  6. Mark 6:14-29 – Serving a head on a platter
  7. A not so great showman
  8. Herod and John the Baptist
  9. Day 47: A Pyrrhic Victory, a Small Girl, and a Lot of Food
  10. Before Herod
  11. A tale of two banquets
  12. Cowardly Power
  13. Confronting a narcissistic ruler
  14. The Life of John the Baptist: The Death of John the Baptist

Matthew 14 – Faith Small and Great – Key words: Dynamic Works

In Matthews 14th chapter we look at the Tetrarch Herod, the son of Herod the Great by Malthace, and see how he falls for his sister-in-law and the violent rejection of the son of man Jeshua (Jesus) the Christ. we get Herod’s opinion of Jesus, and a parenthetical account of his murder of John the Baptist. Parallel passages: Mark 6:14-29; Luke:7-9; Luke 3:19, Luke 3:20.

The fact of the Nazarene his rejection by man is now a governing thought; and this involves rejection for his people, and a path in separation from a world in estrangement from him. This is especially what characterises the next portion of the Gospel which developer for us the features of a day of rejection; but in which grace still works, and finds among men not its objects only but its instruments. But the world is at the same time on the one hand a desert, on the other a stormy sea. Soon Jesus himself also is absent, and his disciples are left in the darkness, toiling over the waters in the face of the adverse wind. But again there is a change: He is coming back to them over the waters; and faith, discerning him and seeking to be with him, is fain to leave the boat and at his invitation walk upon the waters too to go to him. Here the Church’s path is clearly presented to us, the boat imaging the position of that remnant of Israel which as to their hopes the disciples were, when he went away, and to which (accompanied by his heavenly people) he will again return. Then the wind ceases, and the boat having reached the shore, mercy flows out to men far and wide as it will in millennial days. Let us now seek to apprehend this in detail.

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Preceding

Matthew 13:53-58 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Where Did He Get Such Wisdom?

Matthew 11:16-19 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 4 Impossibility of Pleasing Everyone

11:16-19 – The Impossibility of Pleasing Everyone

|| Luke 7:31-35

MT11:16 “But, with whom shall I compare this generation?[1] [This generation] is like young children, sitting in the market-squares, who yell at various ones,[2] MT11:17 saying, ‘We played the flute but you did not dance! We cried but you did not mourn!’[3] MT11:18 For John did not eat[4] [normally] or drink[5] [wine], and yet they say about him, ‘He is demonized!’[6] MT11:19 [And yet] the Son of Humankind came eating [normally] and drinking [wine],[7] and yet they say about him, ‘Look! a gluttonous human and a drunk[8] – friend of tax-collectors and sinners.’ Now, wisdom is justified by its works.”[9]

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[1] This generation: The Greek is TEN GENEAN. It means his contemporaries. He uses the phrase several times (Matthew 12:41, 42; 23:36; 24:34; Mark 8:12; 13:30; Luke 7:31; 11:29-32, 50, 51; 17:25; 21:32).

[2] Various ones: The Greek is “different ones” and some render this: KJV: fellows; TCNT: playmates.

[3] We cried but you did not mourn: There is no pleasing these fickle children. One loses no matter which respond is taken. The phrase is rendered: PME: we played at funerals and you wouldn’t cry; RHM: we sang a lament. The Greek for “mourn” here is EKOPSASATHE and literally means “beat yourselves.”

[4] Did not eat: Of course actually John ate honey and locusts. So it is implied he did not eat as other people do (Luke 7:33). He was severely ascetic.

[5] Or drink: Obviously John drank water. The phrase “drink” is often related to drinking wine. Luke 7:33 explains this. PME: John came in the strictest austerity.

[6] Demonized: Or, demon-possessed. LAM: crazy. Jesus is later to be so criticized (Mark 3:21; John 10:20, 21).

[7] Came eating [normally] and drinking [wine]: Jesus was not an ascetic, nor a vegetarian. He was what may be called today “a drinker” in that he did imbibe wine. The KJV has the accusation: winebibber; WEY: tippling; WMS: wine-drinker. Wine in the Middle East and the whole Mediterranean area is a basic fluid at all tables (Genesis 27:25; 1 Samuel 16:20; Canticles 5:1; Isaiah 22:13; 55:1; Ecclesiastes 9:7). It is drank throughout the day, including breakfast, which might be merely dripping dried bread from the previous day into table wine. The English “wine” is a corruption of the Greek OINOS. These wines were generally of weak 4-8% alcoholic content, often mixed with water. It is possible the enormous miracle of making 120 gallons of water into wine – after the wine provided ran out – at the Cana wedding contributed to slanderous rumors (John 2:1ff).

[8] A drunk: Jesus would not be criticized for drinking wine for everyone did. The Greek is OINOPOTES and implies OINOPHLYGIA or drinking to excess. Compare Romans 14:21; Ephesians 5:18; 1 Timothy 3:8; 5:23; Titus 2:3.

[9] Wisdom is justified by its works: Compare Luke 7:35. Some may have seen a contradiction in the way both John and Jesus came. Some may have had their own expectations on the manner of how these ought to come. Though God sent both men, His wisdom in the case of John and Jesus, is proved right or correct by the results. PME: wisdom stand or falls by her own actions; RIEU: God’s ways were proved to have been wise by their results; BECK: yet what a wise person does proves he’s right.

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Preceding

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

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

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Related

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

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

11:2-6 – Imprisoned Baptist Encouraged

|| Luke 7:18-23

MT11:2 But while in jail[1] John the Baptist heard[2] about the works of the Messiah,[3] and by means of his disciples,[4] MT11:3 asked Jesus, “Are you the One coming[5] or are we to expect a different person?”[6] MT11:4 Jesus responded, telling [John’s disciples], “Go back and report[7] to John what you heard and saw: MT11:5 Blind people are seeing, lame people are walking around, lame people have been cleansed, deaf people are hearing, dead people are being raised up, and poor people[8] are hearing the good news! MT11:6 And blessed is anyone who is not offended by me!”[9]

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[1] Jail: See Luke 7:18-28.

[2] The Baptist heard: Either he is able to receive visitors or he learns from his guardians.

[3] Messiah: The Greek is CHRISTOU. Originally the Gospel of Matthew was written in Hebrew and so the word would have been more like ham·Ma·shi’ach. Leviticus 4:3, 5 is the first use of the word regarding the high priest of Israel, Aaron. Anyone “anointed” is a “messiah.” Compare Daniel 9:25, 26.

[4] His disciples: For some time the Messianic movement was divided into two primary groups: the disciples of John and the disciples of Jesus. There may have been a degree of dissension between the two. Later in the Book of Acts we come upon John’s disciples unfamiliar with baptism in the name of Jesus (Acts 18:24, 25). The phrase “his disciples” is also used of Paul (Acts 9:25).

[5] One coming: At Matthew 3:11 John has already confessed of another one coming who is more privileged. Possibly the idea of a “Coming One” is drawn from Genesis 49:10, Daniel 9:24, and Malachi 3:1. Compare also Deuteronomy 18:15 (Luke 7:19). Possibly the imprisoned John wants confirmation regarding the very one he pointed out as the “Lamb of God.” (John 1:29)

[6] Expect a different person: Evidently some Jews had different views regarding “the coming one” expecting two different persons, one of which was to be “Elijah.” To this day some Jews expect both the Messiah and Elijah. At Passover an empty chair is provided should Elijah appear.

[7] Go back and report: Jesus sends these disciples back to the imprisoned Baptist with the good news of what has been happening during his incarceration. We may happily assume this news was received by John with tremendous joy. We can hear his rejoicing and prayers in that dungeon.

[8] Poor people: Jesus never forgets the poor and he lists them among genuine miracles.

[9] Not offended by me: The Greek is interesting and related to an English word, SKANDALISTHE – and perhaps “scandalized” would be a better word. Most translators prefer “stumbled.” A person in prison gets his news from mixed sources – some may be accusatory and scandalous. Possibly there was much divisive talk among John’s own disciples. John wants confirmation and proof that the One he baptized is the Messiah. Perhaps he wants this more for his disciples than himself. Note Jesus does not directly answer the question which is something of a Hebrew manner. The prophet foretold stumbling (Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 8:14; Romans 9:33; 1 Peter 2:8).

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Preceding

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:7-12 – Opposition and Two Baptisms

Matthew 9:35-38 – Looking at Jesus our shepherd

Matthew 10:5-10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus’ Orders: Territory, Theme, Trust

Matthew 10:40-42 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Reception and Reward

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

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Related

  1. The Mad Prophet
  2. The Baptiser (Part 2)
  3. The One who comes after the messenger. Mark 1:7-13 (by New providence Mennonite) or The One who comes after the messenger. Mark 1:7-13 (by William Higgins)
  4. Seeing and Blind
  5. Blind Guides
  6. The Chosen Stone
  7. belonging together
  8. Trusting the Process
  9. Violence (Mt 11:12-11:12)

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

We come to the time that Jeshua, the Nazarene man, of flesh and blood, born in Bethlehem and living in Nazareth left his parents house to go preaching and it came to be, when יהושע (Jeshua} ended instructing his twelve taught ones, that he set out from there to teach and to proclaim in their cities.

We shall find as a key word in this chapter: Offended in Christ: Matthew 11 verses 6, 19 and 25.

John the Baptist had heard in the prison of the works of Messiah, he sent two of his taught ones to ask his cousin if he was the “Coming One”.  Those who knew the scrolls did know that Jehovah God had promised to sent some one to bring a liberation over the curse of death, spoken about in the Garden of Eden.

Now hearing about the ‘Master Teacher‘ departing on a solitary preaching mission and not seeing him forming an army to fight against the Romans, John the Baptist like others may have wondered if Jeshua was that promised one or if they had to  look for another.

Jeshua (or Jesus) his great forerunner, John the Baptist sought for confirmation of his ministry. Held in prison for condemning the marriage actions of Herod, who had taken his brother’s wife, John expected the advent of the kingdom, as did the apostles (Acts of the apostles 1:9), and did not perceive the greater work of redemption, even though his words announced the coming of the ‘Lamb of God‘ to take away the sin of the world.

Because of those doubting the function of the sent one from God, Jeshua warns them to open their ears so that they would hear about the reality of the Plan of God and the Gospel or Good News of Salvation and of the Kingdom of God. Encountering many who were more interested in the things of the world or those in the temple, clever and learned ones, more interested in teachings of men, rules and rites, instead of the pure Word of God, Jesus did not mind telling those, whom he ran into, about the works of God and helped them in need, even by doing miracles. Those miracles, like the healing, were meant to confirm and validate the gospel, not to become the focus of Jesus his ministry. Healing was a way to (1) show God’s love; (2) show Jesus’ power; and (3) fulfill OT prophecy about the Messiah (cf. Matthew 11:5).

5 Blind people are seeing, lame people are walking around, lame people have been cleansed, deaf people are hearing, dead people are being raised up, and poor people are hearing the good news! 6 And blessed is anyone who is not offended by me!”

In this chapter we are also invited to come to Jesus, so that we can find rest and peace. That rest we shall be able to find when we give ourselves to him, who is the mediator now between God and man, is in the relationship of intimacy that Jesus has called us, so that we can find the way to the small gate to his heavenly Father His Kingdom.  Jesus is leading the way and we should follow him. The apostle Matthew wrote down what we should know to come closer to him and his heavenly Father, the Only One True God.

The judgement that Jesus brought over his generation is one we should seriously look at, so that we do not fall in the same traps as the people around the time of Jesus. Today we also find a response to lovers of God of ridicule and mockery. It is so easy to come on the same terms as those who do not want to know about God, but we should know how important it is to come to a good relationship with the Divine Creator.

Matthew in his writings shows us how Jesus is a son of man and son of God, who is the way to God, and the anointed. The term ‘Anointed‘ or ‘Christ‘ equals the Old Testament term ‘Messiah’ which meant “an Anointed One.” It was used in the sense of God’s special call and equipping. In the Old Testament, prophets, priests, and kings were anointed. Jesus fulfils all three of these anointed functions (cf. Hebrews 1:1-3). King Cyrus of the Persian Empire, who was an unbeliever, was even called God’s anointed (cf. Isaiah 44:28; 45:1).

In this dark world we should come to see the light and all who are weary and burdened should find in this and following chapters how in front of them is the man they should share his yoke and should follow and not institutions or people like the Pharisees.

JL1

Several people in Jesus time were waiting for a super hero. They were blinded and did not come to see that the master teacher from Nazareth was the sent one from God. Today also are putting their hope in super hero’s or make Jesus their god, instead of accepting that man of flesh and blood as the promised anointed one of God, the Kristos or Christ, the Messiah who gave his life for the sins of many.

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Preceding

The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:7-12 – Opposition and Two Baptisms

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:13-17 – Jesus Declared God’s Son at His Baptism

Nazarene Commentary Mark 1:1-8 – The Beginning of the Good News

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:3-6 – John Preaches Baptism of Repentance

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:7-9 – Vipers, Repent!

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:18-20 – John’s Teaching and Imprisonment

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:21-23 – The Baptism of Christ

Matthew 10:40-42 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Reception and Reward

 

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Additional reading

  1. A rich history of ancient and Biblical Jordan to explore
  2. The place where Jesus was brought up
  3. Increased in wisdom in favour with God
  4. Memorizing wonderfully 51 Acts 2:22-38 Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God
  5. The Right One to follow and to worship

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Related

  1. John, The Baptist
  2. Matthew 11丨John Calvin
  3. Matthew 11丨C. H. Spurgeon
  4. Meekness — Examples in the life of Jesus
  5. The Light In The Darkness
  6. Advent 3 Sermon, 2017
  7. To Show God’s Faithfulness and Love
  8. Advent 12.13.17
  9. Because We Matter – Matthew 11:4-5
  10. Save us from our selfish selves, a prayer of confession (Matthew 11)
  11. Day 15 – Take my yoke upon you
  12. Burdens heavy and light
  13. Prayer for troubles, sorrow, pain (Matthew 11)
  14. Learning the Unforced Rhythms of Grace [Mt 11:28-30]
  15. Why are people important?
  16. Easy Yoke on the Narrow Way
  17. Prayer- Jesus, I Come (Matthew 11.28-30)

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