Matthew 11 - 13
As Jesus continues to teach and preach in various cities, Matthew introduces a new theme: opposition to Jesus’ public ministry. We’re told earlier in Matthew’s Gospel that “from that time Jesus began to preach, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ (4:17).” It appears the LORD Jesus takes repentance quite seriously, much more so than many He encountered. The Pharisees at first manifested their lack of repentance with probing statements (12:2) and disingenuous questions (12:10). Having received what they found to be unsatisfactory answers, their lack of faith and repentance eventually results in blasphemous statements against Jesus (12:24), the audacious demanding of a sign (12:38), and ultimately their plotting Jesus’ destruction (12:14). Opposition to Jesus is not limited to only religious leaders, however. Jesus strongly denounces many of the citizens of the towns where he performed miracles, “because they did not repent (11:20).” With the ever-increasing masses coming to see Jesus, our LORD intentionally begins to teach in parables, with the express purpose of continuing to feed the repentant, yet at the same time hardening the hearts of those who did not truly desire to learn from Him (13:11-17).
Reflect: Are you burdened in sin and/or unbelief? Repenting and believing is more than a one-time thing; it’s an everyday thing. Jesus bids you once again: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (11:28-30).”
Connect: So often we find ourselves restless and weary, with our spiritual tanks on empty. There’s only one place to fill up. Will you repent anew, and run to Jesus? He’s ready and waiting.
Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…
- Rev. John McCombs
This blog is part of the ministry of City Reformed Presbyterian Church. Unless otherwise noted, the entries are written by Matt Koerber. This is part of a project that our church is doing as we read through the narrative sections of Scripture between early January and Easter 2020. New entries will be scheduled to drop automatically at 5:00 am on the scheduled day.