Mitch, Curtis & Edward Sri. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition.
“John the Baptist and Jesus the Messiah (Matthew 11:1-30)” pp. 150-161.
Mitch identifies Matthew 11 as a transition from earlier instruction about Jesus’ identity to later illustration of people’s attitudes toward Jesus (Mitch 2010, 150).
Initially, John the Baptist sends from prison to ask for “reassurance about the messiahship of Jesus” (Mitch 2010, 150). Mitch notes that the text gives no reason for his inquiry. In response, Jesus shows his power as the Messiah, particularly doing works described by Isaiah (Mitch 2010 152). In verses 7-15 Jesus turns the tables and shows the crowd that John is the one to come as Elijah (Mitch 2010, 152). Considering Jesus’ cryptic statements in verse 12, Mitch considers that “the least in the kingdom of heaven” are those who know the risen Messiah (Mitch 2010, 154). The violent people Jesus refers to would be those who persecute the Messiah and his people (Mitch 2010, 154).
Jesus’ continuing statements refer to the society’s unwillingness to accept Jesus’ message. Mitch observes parallels between childish lay and the failure to receive Jesus and his people (Mitch 2010, 155). “In the end, it seems that nothing could please the faithless generation of John and Jesus” (Mitch 2010, 156).
Having been rejected in some towns, Jesus proceeds to proclaim judgment against them (Mitch 2010, 157). Even the Gentiles would believe. Mitch applies this passage to modern Christians who barely seem to believe Jesus. God’s judgment threatens them as well (Mitch 2010, 158).
Jesus then prays intimately with the Father, one of only three such prayers in Matthew (Mitch 2010, 159). He praises the Father that some believe. Those who believe have received God’s grace to be his children (Mitch 2010, 159). Therefore Jesus calls all to come to him and receive Jesus’ rest (Mitch 2010, 160).