19 January 2015

Jesus talks about John the Baptist and the need for repentance

Click here to read Matthew 11 

Discussion Questions

  • Do you think verses 20 to 24 suggest some unbelievers will find God’s judgement more bearable than others?
  • Is there a marked contrast between what Jesus says in verses 20 to 24 compared to verses 25 to 30, or are they interlinked?

Share your thoughts below, or on social media using the #boundlessbible hashtag.

Going Deeper - From 'Words of Life'

Before we go deeper today, I invite you to read ahead to Mark 8:22-26.

One of the hallmarks of authentic Christianity is any demonstration of truth combined with grace (see also John 1:14). Those two elements of faith represent a healthy spiritual balance. One without the other is a symptom of a misunderstanding of the nature of God.

Here we see Jesus taking the blind man to one side in order to impart the wonderful truth of Kingdom healing, but in such a way that the man’s privacy and dignity are respected. Here is the courtesy of Christ, escorting the blind man far from the madding crowd, many of whom would have regarded his blindness as proof of God’s curse upon him for some secret sin – such was the prevailing superstition.

Elements of this scene are replicated in Salvation Army centres all over the world every time someone makes their way to the mercy seat for a ‘one-to-one’ with a gracious God.

There is also the school of thought which teaches that Bethsaida, as a location steeped in rebellion, had placed itself beyond the reach of blessing. It is difficult to dispute that teaching, when we consider Matthew 11:20-24. However, mercy triumphs over justice and the individual in need is still the object of compassion:

‘There’s mercy still for thee!’ (SASB  253).

Christ may be locked out of a thousand lives, a thousand acts of legislation, and maybe even a thousand churches; but, as Revelation 3:20 reminds us, his lovefor one lost sheep knows no limits and has no measure.

Prayer

Jesus, thou art all compassion,
Pure, unbounded love thou art;
Visit us with thy salvation,
Enter every longing heart.

(Charles Wesley, SASB  438)

Beverly Ivany

Tags: Matthew