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 (Galatians to Colossians)
Lesson 15
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Lesson 15

I.       Observation

A.     Outline

Jesus and John the Baptist (11:2-19)

John’s question and Jesus’ response (2-6)

Jesus’ testimony to John’s ministry (7-15)

Unresponsive generation (16-19)

Woe to the Unrepentant (11:20-24)

Acceptance of the Weary and Burdened (11:25-30)

Revelation of the Father through the Son (25-27)

Coming to Jesus and learning from Him (28-30)

B.     Key Words/Phrases

Things which you hear and see, not offended because of Me, prophet, messenger, prepare, kingdom of heaven, the violent take it by force, hear, wisdom, repent, judgment, hide/reveal, wise/babes, Father/Son, yoke/burden, gentle and lowly in heart, rest, easy/light.

II.    General Analysis

1. 6, 14, 15, 16-19, 20-21, 25, 27.

2. Jesus’ response to John’s question teaches us that miracles serve to strengthen our faith in the Lord. Jesus’ rebuke on the unrepentant cities teaches us that miracles ought to lead us to a change of heart and returning to God (cf. Jn 10:37,38). If we do not accept Christ despite the miracles we have seen, the miracles will become a basis of our judgment.      

III. Segment Analysis

1. See 14:1-5

2a. John was perplexed about whether Jesus was actually the one to whom John once testified, “He who is coming after me is mightier than I” (3:11).

2b. Read 3:11-12. John had probably anticipated the Christ to bring immediate judgment and blessings. If so, the work of Christ had turned out to be quite different from his expectation.

3a. The ministry of healing and preaching speaks for Jesus and shows that He is indeed “the Coming One.”

3b. He did not rebuke John or the disciples for lack of faith. He gently pointed them to the right direction so that they may see the answer for themselves.

4. Our Lord is the cornerstone of our faith. But if we reject Him, He becomes to us a stumbling block (1Pet 2:4-8). We cannot be neutral about Jesus’ teachings. We either trust in Him and be saved or reject Him and fall away.

5. He was much more extraordinary than the reeds, and more rugged and powerful than those in the palace. He was more than a prophet. He was the one of whom the prophets spoke of. He was greater than anyone born of women. He was the Elijah. He came, neither eating nor drinking.

6a. The ministry of Jesus Christ (establishing the kingdom of heaven) was greater than that of John, even though John was the greatest of all prophets. In the same way, those who accept the gospel are more blessed than even the prophets of the past (13:16,17; 1Pet 1:10-12).

6b. There are two possible interpretations to this verse. The first refers to the opposition to the kingdom from the “violent.” Violent men constantly attacked the gospel while it was being spread.

The second interpretation takes on a positive side. Through the powerful ministry of John and Christ, the kingdom of heaven had been “forcefully advancing” (NIV). The message of the kingdom called for new attitudes and actions that require thorough repentance. So only those who are willing to undergo drastic changes (the “violent”) are able to come into God’s kingdom.

7. Jesus is the fulfillment of all the prophecies under the Old Testament up to the time of John (Rom 10:4; Gal 3:24).

8. The people of those days did not accept John’s preaching of repentance. Neither did they accept the good news of the kingdom. Instead, they charged Jesus with gluttony (cf. 9:10,11). Whether it was John’s call to repentance or Jesus’ grace of forgiveness, the people remained indifferent.

9. Two interpretations have been offered. First, the wisdom and righteousness of God had been proven by the works of John and Jesus. Second, only those who are humble (true children of wisdom) will accept the message of the kingdom.

10. We need to accept the good news of the kingdom with strong faith (6). We must be humble and be open to the call (14). We must listen (15).

11. They should have repented much more readily because they had seen the deeds of Christ which the pagan cities did not have the privilege to witness. God is just in His judgments (cf. Lk 12:48).

12. We should not take miracles at their face value and think that they are an end in themselves. Miracles should lead to faith in Christ, demonstrated in repentance and change of behavior.

13. The ministry of Jesus was “hidden” to many in that they either did not understand or refused to accept it. But even then, Jesus calls out and welcomes those who are willing to come to Him. God will reveal His will to those who do so.

14a. The wise and prudent are those who are wise in their own eyes. The babes are the simple and humble.

14b. Humility is necessary for faith in the Lord. God opposes the proud but blesses the humble (Prov 3:34). By revealing His will to the simple, God also manifests His wisdom and glory (1Cor 1:18-25).

15. Jesus is the manifestation of God and is God Himself (Jn 14:9) We can only know and accept God if we accept Jesus Christ (Jn 1:18).

16a. They are the “sick” and the “sinners” (9:12,13), those who are poor in spirit, those who mourn, and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (5:3,4,6). They labor and are heavy laden because they have found themselves spiritually broken and cannot help themselves through their own efforts.

16b. We must listen to the voice of Jesus, humbly accept His words, and change ourselves to conform to His will.

17a. It is the cross that every follower of Jesus must carry (10:38). It refers to the sufferings that we will go through for His sake.

17b. It is easy because it is His yoke. He will always be with us and help us. He will also fulfill God’s righteousness in us (19:23-26; Rom 8:3-4).

17c. When we take up Jesus’ yoke and learn from Him, not only will He put away our burden of sin, He will also help us be at peace with God through our changed behavior and attitude. Conformity to God’s way brings rest to our soul.

18. Gentleness leads to submission, and lowliness leads to repentance and obedience. We need to be “babes” who humbly accept and practice God’s will.

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