Jesus brings understanding of the spiritual (Mt 11:1-17)
After training and sending off His disciples, which we discussed Friday, Jesus went to preach in the towns of Galilee. It’s interesting that John the Baptist and the disciples were key players in the ushering in of the Kingdom Jesus came to bring, and yet they didn’t really have a clue what God was doing.
Each was an important part of God’s plan, and He worked through them. John heralded the coming Kingdom and yet he did not know what it was. They could not see beyond their own simple understandings. Their world revolved around their own lives and their own deeply ingrained misconceptions. They believed that Jesus would come ahead of an army to kick Rome out of Israel and restore its sovereignty. They had no understanding of the new spiritual life that God wanted to breathe into His people and that He is very patient to bring about the ultimate conquering in order to foster this life within us.
This section goes hand in hand with Mt 17, so we’ll talk more about it when we get there. But Jesus is teaching that He is the fulfillment of all that came before, both the Law that Moses represents and the prophets which Elijah represent. Jesus is the fulfillment of these two offices. He is the reigning King (of the law), and He is the ultimate Prophet (who hears the voice of God).
The Kingdom that He ushered in brought this new reality and it is ever increasing. Through Jesus opening the Way for us and the Spirit of Truth revealing it, those in Him have the Law written on our hearts, and have access to the wisdom of God! This was not yet a physical revolution as man tends to look for, but a powerful upheaval in the Heavens. Jesus came to bring a new spiritual reality.
Yes, as we see in this chapter, the outward signs were clear evidence of what was happening, but the true work Jesus came to do was in the internal…Life through the Spirit!
“Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Mt 11:11)
Jesus came to usher in a new reality. There were many incredible men in the bible (also with incredible faults). They did amazing things. But Jesus here said that it is the calling of each of us for a greater life than any of these. That doesn’t mean that millions of people will know our name. Our unique calling may be big or small in man’s eyes, but what is possible in our life with God is huge! There must be a spiritual rebirth, where the old in us dies, and the Kingdom life takes root. This is where the greatest blessings come from.
“From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.” (Mt 11:12)
The Kingdom does not advance on this earth, or within each of us, without great resistance. There is a mighty heavenly struggle still going on. It requires commitment and dedication from us to receive all that God has for us. It is there for the offer…will you take it?
Invite a friend to take this journey with us, and add something that we’ve missed.
Photo credit: morning_rumtea