15: Rejection of the King (1) (Mt 11:2-30)
out the twelve disciples, the Lord Jesus continued in His ministry. Once again
we read about John the Baptist and his role in Jesus’ ministry. Jesus, seeing
the unrepentant heart of the people, began to denounce the cities in that
region. But even then, He still called out to the people to come to Him for
“Come to Me,
all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke
upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will
find rest for your souls” (11:28,29).
Did You Know…?
and Capernaum (11:21,23):
all three near the Sea of Galilee’s northwest
shore. 12/44The doom pronounced against Capernaum and the other
unbelieving cities (Matt. 11:23) has been remarkably fulfilled. Tell Hum, its
generally accepted site, is an uninhabited place two and a half miles SW of
where the Jordan enters the Sea of Galilee. 10/209
Tyre and Sidon (11:21) were large Phoenician
cities on the Mediterranean, not far away, and often denounced by OT prophets
for their Baal worship (Isa 23; Ezek 26-28; Joel 3:4;
Amos 1:9-10; Zech 9:2-4). 6/273
Sackcloth and ashes (11:21):
The Israelites used sackcloth as a ritual sign of repentance or a token of
mourning. The dark color and coarse texture of this goat’s hair material made
it ideal for that use. 4/480 Ashes were added in cases of deep
emotion (cf. Job 42:6; Dan 9:3), whether one put them on the head (2 Sam 13:19;
Lam 2:10), sat in them (Jonah 3:6), lay on them (Esth
4:3), or even rolled in them (Jer 6:26; Mic 1:10). 6/273
Hades (11:23): is the place of
the dead. 12/44
Yoke (11:29): A yoke was a
piece of timber or a heavy wooden pole, shaped to fit over the neck with curved
pieces of wood around the neck fastened to the pole, and was used to hitch
together a team of draft animals so that they could pull heavy loads evenly. 9,vol.
List the verses that indicate
the people’s reluctance in accepting the gospel.
According to Jesus’ words in
this passage, what is the purpose and role of miracles?
1. Why was John thrown into prison?
2a. What did John’s question imply?
2b. What might have led him to ask this question?
2c. Do you
sometimes have doubts about God’s power and promise? What enables you to renew
your faith in such circumstances?
3a. How did Jesus’ response answer John’s question? (see Isa 35:5-6; 61:1).
3b. How was Jesus’ response encouraging?
4. Explain verse 6 and apply it to ourselves.
5. Record Jesus’ comments about John.
6. What truths are taught about the kingdom of
heaven in these verses?
7. Explain the significance of verse 13
8. How were the people of those days like the
children in Jesus’ analogy? (see verse 20).
9. Compare this paragraph to Luke 7:29-35. What do
you think Jesus meant by the children (or actions) proving wisdom right?
10. According to
verses 11-19, how can we come into the kingdom of heaven?
11. Why would
the judgment on these cities be worse than those of the pagan cities in the Old
12. What does
Jesus’ denouncement teach us about our attitude and response toward miracles?
13. How is this
paragraph related to the entire passage?
14a. Who are the “wise and prudent” and who are the “babes”?
14b. Why does God hide His will and deeds from the wise and
prudent but reveal them to babes?
verse 27 in light of John 14:6
16a. Who are those who “labor and are heavy laden”?
16b. How should we come to Jesus?
17a. What is Jesus’ yoke?
17b. Why is it
17c. “Yoke” and
“rest” usually do not go together. But why did Jesus tell us to take up His
yoke in order to find rest for our souls?
18. How can we
also be “gentle and lowly” in heart?