Matthew shifts his focus to the how people respond to Jesus. Most reject him. Even John the Baptist becomes confused, because Jesus is not acting like the Messiah he expected.
After warning his disciples, that people will reject them because they reject Jesus. Matthew gives us several stories which highlight the growing opposition to Jesus.
1When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities. 2Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 4And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 6And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” – Matthew 11:1-6
- John was convinced that Jesus was the Messiah (e.g. John 1:29-34).
- John is in prison for criticizing Herod (Mark 6:17-29).
- Matthew has told us that John is the herald of Isaiah 40:3 (Matthew 3:1-3).
- John understands himself to be that herald (John 1:19-23).
- John expects the Messiah to come in judgment (Matthew 3:7-12).
- As he sits in prison wondering if every day will be his last, John compares his expectations of the Messiah to what Jesus is doing and saying. Jesus is different than John’s expectations, so John becomes confused, and sends his disciples to ask if Jesus is truly the Messiah.
- Jesus responds that the miracles testify to the fact that God sent him, and they are the kind of miracles you’d expect the Messiah to do (e.g. Isaiah 35:3-6; Isaiah 61:1-3).
- Jesus will return and fulfill everything that was expected of the Messiah. But his life and ministry the first time was surprising and confusing to people. Up until he died and was resurrected, his people did not understand that he would come twice.
Please listen to the podcast for more detail and explanation.
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