Matthew 11-14


Our chapters today begin with John the Baptist sending his disciples to ask Jesus if He was the One God was sending as King or should they expect someone else? This is an either/or question. I don’t know about you but often in my prayers , especially in the early years of my walk with the Lord, I would ask God either/or questions. It’s sort of like saying to God, “I have been thinking about this situation and have come up with two options.” “Which one do You want to choose.”  Wow! I wonder who is in charge here.  Of course, Jesus is the One who is coming. He is coming again to not only restore Israel but He is also coming to restore the world! But first He came to save the world by planting the Word of God in the hearts of mankind. He is coming again. When He comes this time He will come as King. Meanwhile the Word is to be spread by us. When someone receives the Word and invites Jesus into their heart, He comes and sets up His kingdom in their heart.

God has a plan and Jesus is fulfilling that plan. The world is full of evil which we see in Chapter 14 where the story of the beheading of John the Baptist is told.  God sent His Son Jesus, the Word, to the world because He values the people in the world. In Chapter 13 we read of several parables Jesus teaches to help us understand that the Word of God planted in the heart of mankind can bring transformation, refocusing us from where we are in life to the kingdom of God.  But we must be ready to receive the Word which the Parable of the Sower makes clear.

Herod was haunted by what he had done to John the Baptist. We are told in Mark 6:20 that he tried to keep him safe and even enjoyed listening to John. But even though he was a ruler he was ruled by the evil environment in which he lived and operated.  The Word was crowded out by evil and pride set him up for a fall.

Sometimes we get tired and weary with what is going on in the world around us. We may, like John, feel like we are stuck in place and not making progress at all. We may well wonder, not only, when the Lord is coming, but if He is coming at all. We may ask, why God is allowing this or that to happen.  These thoughts are sure signs that we are allowing thorns of worry to grow in the garden of our mind. Matthew 13:22

We need to separate ourselves from focusing on the thorns and refocus on God’s plan and God’s Word. 13:24-30.

2 Peter 3:8-10 reminds me that God is in charge, not me. He has a plan and it is still being implemented.  The apostle John tells us in 1 John 5:4 that our faith in Jesus overcomes the world. I recommend reading verses 1-12 to get the context.

To those of us who are waiting and longing for the Lord’s return, the Words of Jesus found in  Matthew 11:28-30 are reassuring .

Don’t carry the weight of the world alone. Yoke with Jesus.

Pastor Dave