AUGUST 22, 2010 INTRODUCTION –
I. Jesus & Cities – vs. 1, 20-24 A. Didn’t appear to give the disciples specific commands on which cities to go to
B. He didn’t sit back in a chair at a desk while they went out, but He went out as well
C. “Preach” should be proclaim. (cf. 9:35 “Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom…..”) Teaching is explaining things; proclaiming is declaring things such as “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.” Sometimes the truth must be matter of factly proclaimed.
D. “in their cities” why? Because our mission always starts and finds its authority in how we operate and serve in our own city or Jerusalem. And Jesus cares about cities as a corporate unit, just as He does about individuals – – probably because of how the atmosphere or culture of a city affects those individuals.
E. This is the only way you can understand the passion with which He rebukes the cities in vs. 20-24
3 quick lessons: 1. The proper response to a miracle is repentance – vs. 20 some of you have been miraculously rescued and protected and provided for and your response should have been devotion to Jesus and fleeing from your sins.
2. The responsiveness of cities is measured by Jesus – vs. 21
3. Pride in a city is to be feared far worse than a terrorist attack – vs. 23
II. Jesus & Authentication of His Deity – vs. 2-6 A. John clearly knew who Jesus was earlier (cf. John 1:25-34)
B. So what happened? His calling/mission did not go the way he thought. So even though he – while in prison – kept hearing about Jesus’s works (vs. 2), he began to doubt. “Jesus offends the mind, to reveal the heart.” Vs. 6
C. Why these six works or deeds mentioned to authenticate? (fulfilled prophecy is one of Matthew’s primary arguments since writing to a primarily Jewish audience) Isa. 35:4-6; 42:6,7; 61:1
D. What did Jesus tell His disciples in ch. 10 about their probable fate? Citizen of the year? Life in their 90’s? Retirement in Palm Springs?
III. Jesus & John & the Jews’ response to them – vs. 7-19 A. We learned from Jesus’s instructions to His disciples that He watches and responds accordingly to people in keeping with how they respond to His servants (10:40, 41)
B. Now He is going to deal with the Jews’ response to John the Baptist
C. The questions are getting at their motives and expectations
D. Four things about John: 1. He was no shifty wimp seeking to please people (vs. 7) He was courageous and a man of integrity. 2. He was not a man who was looking for prestige or wealth or a life of ease (vs. 8) He could care less about his dress and material comforts. 3. He was a prophet, who fulfilled biblical prophecy (vs. 9) (cf. Mal. 3:1). 4. Up to that point, no one had reached to the level of greatness John had (vs. 11)
E. Seeming contraction – – probably pointing to the promised greatness Jesus referred to in Jn. 12 when He said His disciples would do even greater things than He – pointing ahead to the coming of the Holy Spirit and formation of the body of Christ and the pouring out of the gifts.
F. Meaning of “violent men taking the kingdom by force” Context before and after is rebuke. This chapter is actually a turning point of increasing hostility of the Jews. Probably refers to John’s arrest and coming murder. (vs. 12)
G. John’s coming should not be a surprise nor his manner because the prophets and the law paved the way. His message was in keeping with the law and the prophets. (vs. 13)
H. Jesus ties him to the prophecy in Mal. 4:5,6 and again challenges their willingness and ability to hear (vs. 14,15)
I. Jesus rebukes their generation for both their response to John and to Him. They were blamers – always finding a way to justify their hard heartedness. (vs. 16-19)
J. Jesus did attend some feasts and parties, and obviously did drink wine; but He never ate too much, nor was He ever drunk; (vs. 18,19)
K. Ultimately a man or woman’s teaching is vindicated or authenticated by their deeds or good works – – Jesus had plenty of deeds in His wake for those who truly wanted to know. (vs. 19)
IV. Jesus & the individual – vs. 25-30 A. Jesus praised the Father that He did not allow men to enter the kingdom based on their education or intelligence (vs. 25)
B. Jesus praised the Father that He did allow the simple and humble to enter. (VS. 25)
C. Ultimately no one comes to know God and enters His kingdom unless He grants them that privilege (VS. 27)
D. The balance of His sovereignty is everyone is invited to come to Jesus (vs. 28-30).
E. For those who do come to Him, Jesus promises to give them rest. (vs. 28)
F. And He declares that He is gentle and humble in heart; and that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (vs. 29, 30)
1. While it is fine and great to pray for individuals that God has put on our heart; to truly be like Christ and have His heart – we need to pray for the city God has placed us in. (vs. 1, 20-24)
2. The full blessing of God awaits those who do not stumble over circumstances that did not seem to go their way. (vs. 6)
3. The generation that John the Baptist and Jesus Christ ministered to was a blaming sneering, scornful generation. Very similar to ours actually. Unless you transformed by the Spirit of God through the renewing of your mind, you will not escape the residue of our generation. It is most often seen in its response to and attitude towards leaders.
4. Only coming to Jesus constantly as a way of life and learning from Him will enable you to escape the world’s poisonous ways; and enter into the blessing and rest He has for us.