March 31, 2020 – Tuesday
Matthew 11:7-10 NIV
7 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind?
8 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces.
9 Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
10 This is the one about whom it is written
“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ *
Yesterday we looked at the preceding verse where Jesus said to John’s disciples Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of Me. It was determined it might have been better translated as Blessed is anyone who is not entrapped or tripped up on account of Me because He was saying trust Me, keep the faith, even when you have unmet expectations.
It did not matter what John was expecting or what he knew Jesus could do. Trust Jesus, your Messiah, and His infinite wisdom because He knows what is best, not you in your limited human wisdom. Don’t get trapped into thinking you know better than God what should or should not be done. Trust Him and keep the faith. Not so easy for John who had spent over a year in a prison cell. Nonetheless, Jesus’ message to John, Don’t be scandalized by thinking you know better than Me. Don’t get tripped up when you know God’s wisdom is greater than yours.
Then after stating such a truth on trust and keeping the faith, Jesus begins to tell the crowd of John’s greatness. He began His praises of John as John’s disciples were leaving. We are not told, but I believe they heard Jesus’ praises of John. It is likely the crowd had heard the exchange between Jesus and John’s disciples and Jesus wanted them to know His heartfelt thoughts about His cousin John the Baptist. So, when John’s disciples returned to John with Jesus’ message to trust in the Messiah and His wisdom instead of his own, they would also be able to tell John that Jesus praised him and praised him greatly .
This is so very much like Jesus. He lovingly and mildly rebukes John. Then to show His love for him, He publicly praises Him. He said John was not only a prophet, but more than a prophet. Then Jesus declared John was the messenger referred to in the first part of Malachi 3:1 I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then He adds Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist. Incredible praise from the Son of God.
When his disciples returned with Jesus’ message and news of His praise of John surely his doubts were totally assuaged. The nature of the praise communicated did not leave him with a swelled head, but an acceptance of Jesus’ wisdom over his own as he awaited his fate.
May Jesus have reason to praise each of us when our time comes and may we, like John, remember to trust His wisdom above our own.
Riley D. Driver-Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton