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Matthew chapter 11

DAILY DEVOTION
FOR
JULY 15, 2020

 
Scripture:  Matthew 11
Author:  Jeremy Witt

Matthew 10 was the call of the disciples and their commission by Jesus which was uniquely applicable to them (go and share the Good News but only to the Jews).  Principles may be applied to us (Christ-followers serving the LORD) today, but the specifics in this situation applied only to the disciples and not to everyone.  This would be an example of a descriptive passage describing how and what took place. 

Matthew 11 deals in a different way primarily to John and his doubts in verses 1-19.  John is in prison for speaking out against King Herod and his marriage to his sister-in-law (Matthew 14:3-5).  One of the big things to me that stands out is that John the Baptist had doubts about Jesus.  Jesus did not fit the mold for even John the Baptist.  Jesus came differently, acted differently, and was not what John the Baptist expected in the Messiah. 

Doesn’t that make you feel a little better about your doubts?  The man that Jesus called John the Baptist “Elijah, the one the prophets said would come” (verse 14) had doubts!  Jesus said of John, “all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist.”  I do not feel so terrible about myself when I read this passage.  There are so many things in Scripture that I do not understand.  Yet Jesus said in “Yet ever the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he (John the Baptist) is” (verse 11)

John was alone in prison.  Isolation has a way of messing with your brain and how we think.  That is one of the dangers of this quarantine is how it affects us mentally.  One of the things that many medical professionals are saying is that mental health is being affected more than the threat of this virus.  John was isolated.  He was having doubts.  Despite what John knew of Scripture, he had doubts.  Despite what John had seen and heard at Jesus’ baptism, he had doubts.  So when we have doubts about our faith, about the Bible, or about Jesus Himself, we can know that even John the Baptist had doubts.

Notice how Jesus dealt with John’s doubts.  He referenced Scripture.  Read verses 5 and 6.  Jesus referred to Isaiah 35:4-6; 42:7, 18; and 61:1. He referred to some of the actions that He (Jesus) did.  As John’s disciples left, Jesus said of John from Scripture in Exodus 23:20 and Malachi 3:1 in verse 10.  He gave the ultimate compliment in verse 11 and then calls him “Elijah” in verse 14.  John’s messengers heard this.  They would relay the message to John and it would be an encouragement to him.  When Jesus dealt with John’s doubt, He did not condemn him.  He quoted Scripture and encouraged him.  The principles from John’s moment of doubt applies to us today.  God will encourage us through His Word.  God will not condemn us when we doubt.  What we need to do is go to His Word despite our lack of understanding.  John did not understand it all, so let this be an encouragement for us today.

We should note that Jesus does change the tone in verse 16-25.  No matter what Jesus said or did, many questioned him, doubted him.  The difference is that they did not seek Jesus for answers the way that John did.  They were cynical and skeptical.  They did not seek to get answers but wanted to stay where they were.  They wanted to be entertained but not confronted with their sin.  They wanted life to be about them and their wants.  When we doubt things about God or His Word, are we seeking to understand and get right with Him or are we trying to justify our sins or way of life?  This speaks to us and our world today so clearly.

Notice how Jesus prayed and for whom He prayed in verses 25-30.  It was for the child-like, the humble, the servant-minded, the tired and weary ones.  It was not for the wise and clever or the comfortable.  Jesus refers a yoke that was used for livestock.  It was used to guide and keep the livestock on the task which shows us that when we are aligned with God, we are expected to be on task.  We are called to a job, a ministry, a task that requires work and does not lend itself to comfort and selfish living.  It is not for the lazy, but we see that the task is “light” and are promised, “rest for our souls.” 

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

Matthew Chapter 10

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

TUESDAY JULY 14

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 10

BY: Josh Boles

Matthew chapters 10-11 are two of my favorite chapters in the Gospel in regard to the Church’s mission while we are here on earth. My favorite is probably Acts chapter two but these next two days have some really, really good missional content for us. Chapter 10 specifically is long and has so much to unpack so rather than breaking it up I am just going to hit the high points all today.

As we enter chapter 10 Jesus has finished calling all of His 12 disciples. Now that this event is complete Jesus’ ministry on earth has been fully started. In a way, its kind of like a Church plant in today’s society. They gathered resources, recruited people, and got the message out there. Now they are ready to dive full on into their ministry. This is a good way to look at it as it will really help us to draw application from this text for our Church culture today.

This whole chapter is about Jesus sending out His disciples. Jesus gives each of them sound wisdom and encouragement, but also warnings. The first bit of wisdom really is involving discipleship. The first bit of instructions that Jesus gives the 12 is to not go preach the Gospel among the Gentiles in verse 5. This seems odd doesn’t it? Did Jesus not come to save the Jews and the Gentiles? Yes! But again, it is really a point of discipleship above anything else. You see there were Jews (lots of them) who had lost faith in the coming messiah who was right there in front of their eyes. So naturally, the disciples first priority was to go wake up the sleeping Jews and disciple them. We simply have to be pouring into other Christ followers lives in order for the kingdom to advance. We must disciple each other. Iron sharpens iron right?

The next piece of wisdom comes in verse 14 and is so important for us top hear. How many of you get discouraged when somebody does not respond the way you had hoped to the Gospel? We take it to heart right? And sometimes we get offended. I love Jesus’ practical wisdom here, “Shake it off, and move on!” (Paraphrase of vs 14.) We have to realize that they are not rejecting us, even when it feels that way. They are rejecting Christ and as we see, that is not going to end well for them. So what is our response? I believe that it is prayer, consistency, and grace.

After this Jesus gives the disciples a few warnings. The first warning is to not become worldly in verse 16. So why would Jesus offer this advice? Well because the disciples are supposed to hang out with lost worldly people. That is why Jesus says that he is sending us as sheep in the midst of wolves. To quote the book of James, we are to be, “In the world but not of it.” Remember yesterday when Jesus reclined with the sinners? That is what we are supposed to do but we have to be thermostats, not thermometers. If we do not engage with the lost culture, then we have nobody to share the Gospel with. When this happens it is a great tragedy. It’s ok to have lost friends, in fact, Jesus encourages it. Just be consistent in your faith and point them to Jesus always. 

There is still so much in this chapter to cover so I am going to do my best to just sum up the rest of the chapter. We have this thing called the Holy Spirit that is always with us, and will always guide us. We just have to listen. See verse 19-20. The heart of this chapter in my opinion is verse 27. There is a reason we come together to worship a couple of times a week. There is a reason we pray, and do Bible studies. There is a reason we disciple one another. None of those reasons are for us, it is for them, the lost. Just pay close attention to this verse. The things that Jesus whispers to us in secret, we proclaim to the lost world. Sunday is not a day for us to just rest and get away from the world. It is a day for us to fuel up and prepare for a week full of sharing the Gospel on every rooftop proclaiming the saving grace of out Lord Jesus Christ.

I know this devotion is long, but I cannot help but point your attention to verse 42 in light of the sermon Sunday. The world around us is waiting for a cup of cold water. Go give somebody a cold cup of water! The “littles ones,” in this verse does not refer to children, but to anybody in need. Who is in need of the Gospel? Everybody!

Posted by Josh Boles with

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