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Monday, October 30, 2006

Matthew 11: 20-30

Mat 11:20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:


Q. In what way is Christ different from all other workers of miracles in Scripture?

1. They were “his” mighty works.

With all others, Moses, Joshua, Elijah, Elisha and the Apostles, they were vessels God used to perform miracles.

With Christ they were “his”

Q. What was special about these cities that Christ addresses?

2. The blessed privileges they enjoyed.

“most” of his mighty works” were done in them.


Irregular superlative of G4183; the largest number or very large: - very great, most.

This word only appears six times in the sciptures.

In the account of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem we have a helpful illustration.

Mat 21:8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.

So the Lord had performed a very great amount of miracles in these cities.

Q. What is the problem that Our lord identifies?

3. “they repented not”


The more blessings we receive from God the more responsibility we are under to obey him.


From G3326 and G3539; to think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel compunction): - repent.

Q. How does this show the true depravity of these people?

The mighty works of Christ made no impression on them to change their way of thinking or their life.


Let us now turn to the manner of the rebuke from Christ.

Mat 11:21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.


Luk 10:13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

See first, the places mentioned. Chorazin and Bethsaida.

We will just concentrate on Bethsaida.

Two places in scripture are called Bethsaida.

Although some argue they are one and the same place.


House of fish.

(1.) A town in Galilee, on the west side of the sea of Tiberias, in the “land of Gennesaret.” It was the native place of Peter, Andrew, and Philip, and was frequently resorted to by Jesus (Mar_6:45; Joh_1:44; Joh_12:21).

A city near which Christ fed 5,000 (Luk_9:10; compare Joh_6:17; Mat_14:15-21),
and where the blind man had his sight restored (Mar_8:22),
on the east side of the lake, two miles up the Jordan.

Consider these two miracles for a moment.

1. The feeding of the 5000.
2. The blind man receives his sight.

Q. How could these people remain unaffected by these?

Q. Are we left unaffected by the work of God?

“Woe unto thee”

This phrase is only found four times in scripture.

Twice in the old and twice in the New Testament.

It is used by Jehovah in the OT. And by Christ in the NT.
This is another evidence of the Deity of Christ.

I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be?
(Jeremiah 13:27)

Matthew Henry.


“Here is a message sent to king Jehoiakim, and his queen.

Their sorrows would be great indeed.

Do they ask, Why come these things upon us?

Let them know, it is for their obstinacy in sin.

We cannot alter the natural colour of the skin; and so is it morally impossible to reclaim and reform these people.

Sin is the blackness of the soul; it is the discolouring of it; we were shapen in it, so that we cannot get clear of it by any power of our own.

But Almighty grace is able to change the Ethiopian's skin.

Neither natural depravity, nor strong habits of sin, form an obstacle to the working of God, the new-creating Spirit.

The Lord asks of Jerusalem, whether she is determined not be made clean.
If any poor slave of sin feels that he could as soon change his nature as master his headstrong lusts, let him not despair; for things impossible to men are possible with God.

Let us then seek help from Him who is mighty to save.”


Consider for a moment,

What it means for the Son of God to pronounce a woe.

See it in the context of Johns vision of Christ in Rev.

Rev 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
Rev 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
Rev 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Heb 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.


Next consider,

Christ is the judge to whom all men must answer.

Mat 11:22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.

“But I say unto you”

Joh 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

Q. Can we find know God apart from Christ?

Absolutely No!!!

This is why it is folly to try and bypass Christ in our search for God.

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.


Mat 11:23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.


The place of judgement, HELL.

54 times in the KJV

Only 14 times in the NIV.

23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.

Adam Clarke

“This prediction of our Lord was literally fulfilled; for, in the wars between the Romans and the Jews, these cities were totally destroyed, so that no traces are now found of Bethsaida, Chorazin, or Capernaum.”


Mat 11:24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

Q. Does this mean that it will be tolerable for Sodom in the day of judgment?

Absolutely not!

This statement just magnifies the awful predicament faced by those who despise the workings of God.


Mat 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

Q. What does it mean when we read “Jesus Answered”?

Q. What did he answer?
Maybe some wondered why the works were not done in those places if it would have resulted in their conversion.


Miracles on their own never resulted in the conversion of anyone!!!

Q. What does our Lord mean when he says “I thank thee O Father” ?


From G1537 and G3670; to acknowledge or (by implication of assent) agree fully: - confess, profess, promise.

The beauty of the relationship between the Father and the Son is seen here.

There was always perfect unity of purpose and will.

Q. What did Our Lord mean when he prayed; “because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent” ?

“hid” in the GK.
From G575 and G2928; to conceal away (that is, fully); figuratively to keep secret: - hide.

Q. What things are being kept secret?


The things of the Kingdom of Heaven.

See verse 12.


Q. Who are they being kept secret from?

“the wise and prudent”

Q. Does this mean that only stupid people go to heaven?

No, Compare the following.

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
(Proverbs 3:7)

Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
(Romans 12:16)


Mat 11:26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.

Q. Why does the father do this.

A. Because to him it is the right thing to do.

It is not an arbitrary thing, but a morally right thing to do.


Mat 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.


The Father has made the Son pre-eminent.

“All things are delivered unto me of my Father”

Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Col 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

Q. What does the word “Knoweth” mean in this verse?

epiginōskō ep-ig-in-oce'-ko
From G1909 and G1097; to know upon some mark, that is, recognise; by implication to become fully acquainted with, to acknowledge: - (ac-, have, take) know (-ledge, well), perceive.

IE To realize fully who Christ is!


Many people knew about Christ while he lived, but they did not know him.


A photograph. You can know about someone from a photograph without knowing them!


Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.


First, We are not told to come to religion.

We are not told to come to church.

We are not told to come to a higher standard of morality.

We are not told to come to the Saints.

We are not told to come to Christ’s mother.

We are to come to Christ


From G1204 and an imperative of εἶμι eimi (to go); come hither!: - come, X follow.


This is not an optional extra part of being a Christian. This is the essence of what makes us Christian’s.


Q. Who is being called to come?

Is it everybody?

Read the text.

“all ye that labour and are heavy laden”

These are the ones being called.

1. All ye that labour.

Q. What labour is our Lord talking about?

I believe it means those who are labouring to enter the kingdom of Heaven.

2. And are heavy laden.

Q. What does this mean?

It means those who feel the weight of their sin.


Sin is a real burden.

1. Sin separates us from God.

Isa 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

2. Sin robs us of our peace.

Isa 48:22 There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.

3. Sin keeps us in bondage.

Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

Tonight if you do not feel the burden of your sin, Christ is not calling you.

Q. What does Christ promise to give to those who come to him?

“and I will give you rest”

Read Hebrews 4: 9-11.

Read Romans 4: 1-9.



What are we to do?

Read v. 29.

Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.


We can only learn of Christ, when we have taken his yoke.


The yoke bound two animals together to perform a task.

“for I am meek and lowly in heart”

This is one of the few places of scripture where Christ tells us what he is like.


It is an unpleasant burden to be bound to arrogant people, but it is a pleasant burden to be bound to a humble person.


Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Shackled by a heavy burden,Shackled By a Heavy burden,'Neath a load of guilt and shame,Then the hand of Jesus touched me,And now I am no longer the same.
He touched me, O he touched me,And O the joy that floods my soul!Something happened, and now I know,He touched me and made me w


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