Matthew 11:20-27 – April 12, 2020
Resurrection, Repentance, Pride
No review today as today is Resurrection Sunday and our knowledge and understanding of Jesus’ resurrection is really key to our understanding of today’s verses as we continue in Matthew 11 for another eight verses.
If we were to go to Matthew 28 we would find on the dawn of the third day, the stone rolled back with an angel of the Lord sitting on it who spoke to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary saying 5“Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
We know this, the question is how do we incorporate this knowledge with the verses today in chapter 11.
11:20-24 Lack of repentance. Chorazin and Bethsaida refused (CEV) to repent, they refused to turn from their sins and turn to God. Then there was Tyre and Sidon on the Phoenician coast of Syria
thought to be where worship of Baal originated. Certainly it is where Jezebel came from. Her father was the king of the Sidonians. She brought Baal and Asherah worship to Israel in a big way when she married king Ahab – see 1 Kings 16-21. She was having all God’s prophets killed, but Elijah hid 100 of them – 50 each in two caves. Later he challenged 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah to Mt. Carmel.
Yet for all the evil of Tyre and Sidon, Chorazin, Bethasaida, and Capernaum will face a far greater judgment because they saw the miracles of Jesus and heard His teaching of the Good News and still refused to turn from their sins in repentance and turn to God. They refused to repent.
What responsibility do we bear before the Lord with all that we have been given? We know about Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. When He was condemning Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum they did not, but they knew of His miracles, even saw them, and heard Him teach and preach. Yet they refused to repent of their sins and turn to God.
11:25-26 Prayer/Conversation. In this conversation between Jesus and His Father, we find God the Father has hidden some things from the wise and learned. Here Jesus is not condemning higher learning, instead He is condemning intellectual pride. He is condemning the attitude that often comes from learning – a puffed up ego. Paul nails this in 1 Corinthians.
I know this as this describes me at different times in my life.
Knowledge is ego-centric or at least it really has the potential to be so!! It doesn’t matter if it is math, chess, language, car mechanics, music, cooking, the bible, money management or anything else – as one’s expertise grows all too often so does one’s ego. When your ego gets stroked over your knowledge, wisdom goes out.
Instead we need to remain like little children, always ready to learn from the most unlikely sources.
11:27 Jesus alone. Want to have a relationship with God the father? Doesn’t matter how smart you are, how rich you are, how much bible knowledge you have, you have to go through His Son, Jesus. He is the only one who knows the Father. The only one.
If you think you know it all and can know the Father, then you are full of yourself and all that you know comes to naught. Stop. Dead Stop. You will only know the Father if the Son chooses to reveal Him to you.
Knowing God the Father, having a relationship with God the Father is impossible apart from Jesus. You have to know Jesus and He has to be the one to reveal the Father to you. This is an incredible assault on someone’s pride who thinks they know enough bible or religion and can go straight to God. Won’t work.
Who does Jesus reveal God to? To the humble, those who are like little children. If you think this upsets people (especially Pharisees) think how much more upset they become when Jesus says they can only be saved through Him.
Jesus is the only way to salvation. The only way. If you cannot be humble enough to say, “Lord Jesus, without You I have and I am nothing.” Then you will be lost without His salvation.
If we are prideful, we will be offended by what these verses say, but if our hearts are humble then we will be delighted with what they say. Like little children we need to believe, if we do so we are blessed.
We have not seen, but if ‘like little children’ we believe we are blessed. Like Thomas we know of the Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Unlike like Thomas we have not seen Him, but what will we do with what we know?