January 29 – Chronological Life of Jesus Day 21
Today is one of those days that I am truly grateful for all of His promises. It must be in the air–trying to take God’s control. I’m thankful for the key word being *try*. How quickly I was reminded, He fights big…and thank goodness, because I surrender.
READ: Matthew 11
Verses 1-19 coincide with yesterday’s reading from Luke 7:18-35. I was completely baffled myself when I read that John the Baptist was now questioning Jesus. Thank goodness for the Holy Spirit and Becky’s post yesterday, which I have to say was informatively exquisite. I would do an injustice if I attempted to add anything else, so I won’t. But I will add that there appears to be different text from Matthew that stood out. While reading vs. 13, notice how it mentions all of the prophets and the law prophesied until John. Now, think back to John 1:21; it states the Jews of Jerusalem had sent the priest and Levites to ask John who he was and had asked him are you Elijah? And John replied, “I am not.” Wait a minute, back to verse 14: then Jesus stated if you are willing to accept it, he (referring to John), is the Elijah who was to come. It doesn’t make any sense. If John the Baptist denied it then and Jesus is saying he is now, why the discrepancy? Is John the Baptist Elijah? No, I don’t think that is what Jesus meant. After some research, it seems to refer to the way Old Testament prophets often spoke about events and how someone would come in the future. This was how things were prophesied—John the Baptist being the Elijah of whom the prophets spoke due to his coming “first” into the world. Side note: if you’re familiar with 2 Kings 1:8 at all, it describes Elijah’s attire…”He was a man with a garment of hair and with a leather belt around his waist”–another reason the Jews mistook John the Baptist for the prophet Elijah, that and the fact that they were expecting Elijah to return to earth. Jesus knew and understood this, so I believe this is why and what he taught. Okay, now onto vs. 15, Jesus re-iterates again, he who has ears let him hear. Stubbornness, those hardened hearts of theirs are still hanging them up.
Verses 20-24 indicate some annoyance in Jesus. And rightfully so, he’s preached, performed numerous miracles, and don’t forget about all the dead that were raised. Is this not enough? What else will it take? “Woe” – this word alone sounds gloomy doomy, but who exactly is he speaking to? It’s to all of the people who missed and will miss this great opportunity. He doesn’t want this for anyone. He is forgiving and loving, yet they fail to believe and accept him. There is only one job – to trust and repent – did they? Nope, I think in some demented way, they got enjoyment out of refusing him and seeing his heart saddened. These wicked people in all three cities–Korazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum–know about these *MIRACLES*, unlike Sodom. Jesus told them in vs. 23 that even the people of that city would have repented. In Jude 1:7 and Genesis 19, it lays out the destruction of Sodom, but in verse 24, Jesus states that on the day of judgment, because of the wayward ways, it will be more bearable for Sodom.
Verses 25-30 appear to be talking to a bigger audience here, including present day. It explains how many of us may be missing salvation. But he is putting out the call again. In verse 25, it seems even the smartest people are missing what he is saying. Children are smart and usually a very good judge. Older and wise people, with life experience, become set in ways and can’t see the word for what it’s worth. And did you observe anything? How about the tone? Wow, what a Jesus! There is that gentleness he possesses. Who wouldn’t want this greatness, this quality of life, this great experience, no more weight on shoulders or worry on minds? Who has felt the weight of this world; who wants to carry it? Well, it says in verse 28 that Jesus does. He wants anyone who fits into this category. Come to me. That’s it! They just have to have the same sort of trust that a child does. Doesn’t this make you think what God will be like? Jesus reassures, promises, comforts and just wants to love on you and your heart. No more guilt. No standards to meet. Nope, just God’s love and peace in our minds.
I know Your gentle and humble heart; You will find rest for my soul. You’re enough!
Thank You for fighting big, so I don’t have to. I want the greatness You give and all the plans You have in store for me. I’m sorry for trying to stay in control today, and trying to be wise in my own eyes. I trust You. In Your powerful and healing name…Amen!