Morris, Leon. The Gospel according to Matthew. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1992.
“III. Jesus’ Ministry in Galilee, 4:12-13:52” pp. 79-363.
Due to the length of this portion, we will divide notes roughly by biblical chapter.
“Matthew 11” pp. 272-297.
(F. Responses to Jesus’ Activity 11:1-12:50)
Morris observes that Matthew 11-12 bring us to the end of Jesus’ second discourse and that at this point many reactions to Jesus are negative (Morris 1992, 272). The statement in 11:1 of Jesus finishing his teaching is Matthew’s typical way of bringing closure to a section (Morris 1992, 273). Morris questions the use of the title, “The Coming One” from verse 3. He concludes that John did consider Jesus the Messiah but may have been impatient for his reign to start (Morris 1992, 275). Jesus shows different signs, his reign in people who needed help, but in terms familiar from Isaiah 35 (Morris 1992, 277).
Jesus turns his attention then to speak of John, using language which speaks of John’s exceptionalism (Morris 1992, 278). At the pinnacle of John’s greatness is the fact that he was the one to introduce the Messiah (Morris 1992, 280). This, however, is not as great by nature as being in the kingdom (Morris 1992, 280). The idea in verse 12 of the kingdom suffering violence is likewise unclear. Morris takes “violence” here to equal “zeal” as the kingdom is advancing forcefully (Morris 1992, 282). Verse 13 points again to Jesus as the fulfiller of all the Law and Prophets, therefore the culmination of this coming kingdom (Morris 1992, 283). By contrast, the community at large failed to recognize the work of the prophets, including John, or of Jesus.
Because of this lack of recognition and repentance, Jesus speaks reproaches on people beginning in verse 20 (Morris 1992, 287). Jesus had shown many good works but was rejected (Morris 1992, 289). In contrast, Jesus calls those who would believe to come to him for rest. They are given to him by the Father (Morris 1992, 291).