Rev. Paul Pater, pastor at Shepherd of the Ridge Lutheran Church in North Ridgeville, OH and Hope Lutheran Church in Sheffield Village, OH, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Matthew 11:1-19.
Jesus has just told His disciples the persecution they can expect in following after Him. Now He receives a question from John the Baptist, the man who went before Him. In prison, John knows the persecution that Christians face, but this does not seem to match up with the promises he had been preaching. He asks Jesus, therefore, if He really is the Christ. In answering, “Yes,” Jesus points John back to the deeds he has already seen, deeds of the Christ that the prophets had foretold. Chief among them for John stands the preaching of the good news to the poor. Such preaching is what John needs to sustain him in faith even as he remains in prison. The way of Jesus’ salvation is suffering and death into resurrection; those who remain in faith toward Him are blessed, for the world considers it foolishness. Jesus speaks to the crowds concerning John lest they think that they can now ignore his message. John remains the forerunner of the Christ; his preaching pointed to Jesus as the Lamb of God. The violence that he and the kingdom have suffered will not change the truth. Jesus warns the crowd against their fickle nature that would reject John and Jesus both for opposite reasons, and calls them to believe in Him as the One whose deeds prove that He is the Christ.
“All Righteousness Fulfilled” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that digs into the Gospel according to St. Matthew. The first evangelist proclaims Jesus to Jews and Gentiles alike as the fulfillment of God’s saving words and acts throughout the Old Testament. As the Christ in the line of David and Abraham, Jesus is the promised King who comes to bring sinners from every nation to live under His gracious reign.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
Messengers from John the Baptist
11 When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.
2 Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 4 And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers[a] are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 6 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
7 As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 What then did you go out to see? A man[b] dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. 9 What then did you go out to see? A prophet?[c] Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is he of whom it is written,
“‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way before you.’
11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence,[d] and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, 14 and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15 He who has ears to hear,[e] let him hear.
16 “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates,
17 “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”[f]
- Matthew 11:5 Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13
- Matthew 11:8 Or Why then did you go out? To see a man…
- Matthew 11:9 Some manuscripts Why then did you go out? To see a prophet?
- Matthew 11:12 Or has been coming violently
- Matthew 11:15 Some manuscripts omit to hear
- Matthew 11:19 Some manuscripts children (compare Luke 7:35)
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.