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MATTHEW 11 (ESV)
1 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 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 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? 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, 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, 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.”
- Jesus encouraged and praised demoralized John. Jesus then damned the cities that refused to repent despite His miracles. Yet the weary who come to Jesus will find rest.
- What kinds of “prison” tend to bring out doubts for you regarding Jesus? In those period of discouragement and doubt, what most renews your courage and faith? How might Jesus’ reply to John “Go and tell John what you hear and see…” (v4) help to answer your doubts?
- Where have you seen the work of Jesus in your life and lives of those around you? Write down at least three things. Then, utter a thanksgiving prayer to God.
- In what specific way can you be an encourager to someone in church leadership? In your family? Among your friends?
Heavenly Father, please increase my faith. In this crooked and rebellious age, people in the world are living in sin and transgression and do not repent. Life can also overwhelm us. But God, You have promised that those who are weary and heavy laden can come to You and find rest there. Father, please open the hearts of people in the world. Let more and more people come to know You, and give me the ability to preach the gospel to the friends around me. When encountering difficulties and rejections, please give me perseverance. Amen!
Oceans will part – youtu.be/YoG6azD8g3k