Verse 1 – Now it came to pass when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities.
Verse 2 – And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples.
John the Baptist had been placed in prison by Herod. Herod had married his sister-in-law, and John publicly rebuked Herod.
Verse 3 – And said to Him, “Are You the coming One, or do we look for another?”
Verse 4 – Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see:
Verse 5 – “The blind receive their sight and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
Verse 6 – “And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
John had disciples bringing him news from outside the prison walls. So hen he heard the things Jesus was doing, he wanted to know for sure, “Was Jesus the Messiah?” People like to say that John had doubts as to whether Jesus was the Messiah or not, but I believe you can affirm something without doubt. I think John just wanted to know if he had “prepared the way,” for the right One, and his obligation was finished.
Verse 7 – As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken in the wind?
When the Jordan would over flow, it would produce reeds or canes. They were light and easily shaken by the wind. Therefor Jesus was asking the crowd, referring to John, “Did you go out to see a man that was easily changed or not consistent with his message?” The crowd had heard John’s disciples ask if “He was the One, so they thought John was confused.
Verse 8 – “But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in king’s houses.
Jesus confirms that a person who wore these type of clothes were only found in palaces, so that was not the man they had seen in John, because John had been in the wilderness.
Verse 9 – “But what did yo go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.
Verse 10 – “For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.
That is in Isaiah 40:3. John had prepared the way for the Messiah.
Verse 11 – “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
No one ever fulfilled his God-given purpose more than John the Baptist. Yet, in the coming kingdom all members will have a greater spiritual heritage than John because they will have seen Christ’s work on the cross.
Verse 12 – “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.
This vast movement toward God, had started with John’s preaching and entering God’s kingdom takes courage, unwavering faith, determination, and endurance, because of the growing opposition.
Verse 13 – “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
Verse 14 – “And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is come.
Verse 15 – “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
John took on Elijah’s prophet role-bold, confronting sin and pointing people to God.
Verse 16 – “But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions,
Verse 17 – “and saying: ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we mourned to you, and you did not lament.’
Verse 18 – “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’
Verse 19 – “The son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a gluttonous man and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners! “But wisdom is justified by her children.”
In other words; there was no pleasing this generation. A man like John had none of the comforts of home, neither any prepared food nor drinking wine. His only interest was preaching the kingdom. Jesus on the other hand, ate and didn’t look or dress like someone who lived in the wilderness as John had, and they rejected Him also. This generation was fickle, inconstant, and abusive.
Verse 20 – Then He began to unbraid (rebuke) the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent:
Verse 21 – “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth an dashes.
Tyre and Sidon were both destroyed by God for their wickedness. The people of Chorazin and Bethsaida, both saw Jesus first-hand and they still refused to repent of their sins. So Jesus said if these wicked cities had seen Him, they would have easily repented.
The same goes for today: Easy access to Bibles, the Word of God, and a church almost on every corner. There will be no excuse in the Day of Judgment, for those who reject Jesus the Christ.
Verse 22 – “But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.
Verse 23 – “And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
We all know that Sodom was destroyed by fire because of their perversion and wickedness. But Jesus said if He had done these mighty works there, they would still be in existence today because they would have repented.
Verse 24 – “But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.”
Verse 25 – At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.
Revealed them to babes – to the poor; the ignorant; to the teachable, the simple, and to the humble. Wise and prudent – to the proud and haughty in spirit.
Verse 26 – “Evan so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.
Verse 27 – “All things have been delivered to Me, by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and he to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
All things are in Christ’s control for the good of the church, the government of the universe and is committed unto Him as Mediator. No mortal can fully comprehend the divine nature of Jesus, but God, so for the knowing of God but the Lord Jesus.
Verse 28 – “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
People who are burdened with the guilt of their transgressions can find forgiveness and peace in coming to Christ. He will then give them rest from their sins, from their conscience, and from the fear of eternal death without Him.
Verse 29 – “Take My yoke upon you and learn form Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Verse 30 – “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
A relationship with Jesus Christ, changes a burdensome weary life, into a productive purpose for the kingdom of God.