View Matthew 11 in the note window.
1: In their cities - The other cities of Israel.
2: He sent two of his disciples - Not because he doubted himself;
but to confirm their faith. (Lu 7:18).
3: He that is to come - The Messiah.
4: Go and tell John the things that ye hear and see - Which are a
stronger proof of my being the Messiah, than any bare assertion
5: The poor have the Gospel preached to them - The greatest mercy
of all. (Isa 29:18,35:5).
6: Happy is he who shall not be offended at me - Notwithstanding
all these proofs that I am the Messiah.
7: As they departed, he said concerning John - Of whom probably
he would not have said so much when they were present. A reed
shaken by the wind? - No; nothing could ever shake John in the
testimony he gave to the truth. The expression is proverbial.
8: A man clothed in soft, delicate raiment - An effeminate
courtier, accustomed to fawning and flattery? You may expect to
find persons of such a character in palaces; not in a wilderness.
9: More than a prophet - For the prophets only pointed me out
afar off; but John was my immediate forerunner.
10: (Mal 3:1).
11: But he that is least in the kingdom of heaven, is greater
than he - Which an ancient author explains thus: - "One perfect in
the law, as John was, is inferior to one who is baptized into
the death of Christ. For this is the kingdom of heaven, even
to be buried with Christ, and to be raised up together with him.
John was greater than all who had been then born of women, but
he was cut off before the kingdom of heaven was given."
[He seems to mean, that righteousness, peace, and joy, which
constitute the present inward kingdom of heaven.] "He was
blameless as to that righteousness which is by the law; but he
fell short of those who are perfected by the spirit of life
which is in Christ. Whosoever, therefore, is least in the kingdom
of heaven, by Christian regeneration, is greater than any who
has attained only the righteousness of the law, because the law
maketh nothing perfect." It may farther mean, the least true
Christian believer has a more perfect knowledge of Jesus Christ,
of his redemption and kingdom, than John the Baptist had, who
died before the full manifestation of the Gospel.
12: And from the days of John - That is, from the time that John
had fulfilled his ministry, men rush into my kingdom with a
violence like that of those who are taking a city by storm.
13: For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John - For
all that is written in the law and the prophets only foretold
as distant what is now fulfilled. In John the old dispensation
expired, and the new began. (Lu 16:16).
14: (Mal 4:5).
15: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear - A kind of proverbial
expression; requiring the deepest attention to what is spoken.
16: This generation - That is, the men of this age. They are like
those froward children of whom their fellows complain, that they
will be pleased no way.
18: John came neither eating nor drinking - In a rigorous austere
way, like Elijah. And they say, He hath a devil - Is melancholy,
from the influence of an evil spirit.
19: The Son of man came eating and drinking - Conversing in a free,
familiar way. Wisdom is justified by her children - That is, my
wisdom herein is acknowledged by those who are truly wise.
20: Then began he to upbraid the cities - It is observable he had
never upbraided them before. Indeed at first they received him
with all gladness, Capernaum in particular.
21: Wo to thee, Chorazin - That is, miserable art thou. For these
are not curses or imprecations, as has been commonly supposed;
but a solemn, compassionate declaration of the misery they were
bringing on themselves. Chorazin and Bethsaida were cities of
Galilee, standing by the lake Gennesareth. Tyre and Sidon were
cities of Phenicia, lying on the sea shore. The inhabitants of
them were heathens. (Lu 10:13).
22-24: Moreover I say unto you - Beside the general denunciation
of wo to those stubborn unbelievers, the degree of their misery
will be greater than even that of Tyre and Sidon, yea, of Sodom.
23: Thou Capernaum, who hast been exalted to heaven - That is,
highly honoured by my presence and miracles.
25: Jesus answering - This word does not always imply, that
something had been spoken, to which an answer is now made. It
often means no more than the speaking in reference to some action
or circumstance preceding. The following words Christ speaks in
reference to the case of the cities above mentioned: I thank thee
- That is, I acknowledge and joyfully adore the justice and mercy
of thy dispensations: Because thou hast hid - That is, because thou
hast suffered these things to be hid from men, who are in other
respects wise and prudent, while thou hast discovered them to
those of the weakest understanding, to them who are only wise to
Godward. (Lu 10:21).
27: All things are delivered to me - Our Lord, here addressing
himself to his disciples, shows why men, wise in other things, do
not know this: namely, because none can know it by natural
reason: none but those to whom he revealeth it.
28: Come to me - Here he shows to whom he is pleased to reveal
these things to the weary and heavy laden; ye that labour - After
rest in God: and are heavy laden - With the guilt and power of sin:
and I will give you rest - I alone (for none else can) will freely
give you (what ye cannot purchase) rest from the guilt of sin by
justification, and from the power of sin by sanctification.
29: Take my yoke upon you - Believe in me: receive me as your
prophet, priest, and king. For I am meek and lowly in heart - Meek
toward all men, lowly toward God: and ye shall find rest - Whoever
therefore does not find rest of soul, is not meek and lowly.
The fault is not in the yoke of Christ: but in thee, who hast
not taken it upon thee. Nor is it possible for any one to be
discontented, but through want of meekness or lowliness.
30: For my yoke is easy - Or rather gracious, sweet, benign,
delightful: and my burden - Contrary to those of men, is ease,
liberty, and honour.