We have just finished walking through invigorating Chapter 11 of Matthew’s Gospel.  We read where Jesus heard the disturbing news that His relative John the Baptizer had been jailed by king Herod, after some of John’s disciples came to Him with a question.  John sent them to find out if Jesus was the real Messiah.

They followed Jesus for several days, and then He told them to go back and tell John what they had seen and heard.  I’m sure that as soon as John the Baptizer heard their report, he knew that his mission as the forerunner of the Messiah was complete.  Now he could be welcomed as a good and faithful servant into the rest prepared for him. Also, his disciples could now join Andrew who had already become a follower of Jesus.

But not everyone was excited about His ministry.  So Jesus warned those cities that had seen many miracles but yet did not completely surrender to Him as their Savior.  He went so far as to say that wicked cities He had never visited would have a better outcome on Judgment Day than they would.  It’s one thing to die without ever knowing about Jesus or hearing His name, but it’s another thing to go to the grave after hearing who He was and what He came to do, but paying no attention to Him but only to oneself.  He’s the only one who can guarantee eternal life, not we ourselves.

But to those who did believe, Jesus invited them to be joined with Him in the faith so that they no longer needed to carry the heavy load of complying with every rule of Law in order to find salvation, because it was literally impossible.  He promised them an even better salvation if they would only believe in Him and do what He asked them to do.

Now we look forward to an exciting journey through Chapter 12 of Matthew.  We will learn more about what Jesus thought about the Sabbath; about His being identified as the Chosen One spoken of by the prophet Isaiah; how He handled and coped with the false accusations by the Pharisees that He received His miracle powers from Beelzebub, who was the prince of demons; the sign Jesus said would be given to prove that in fact His power came from God the Father, and cited the story of Jonah who was rescued after three days in the belly of the large fish, and how He would be rescued by God after three days from the belly of the earth. And finally, a very dramatic encounter between Jesus, His mother Mary, and His brothers who came to visit Him at His home in Capernaum.  What Jesus said when told of their arrival is very interesting indeed.

I hope to see you all when our study of Chapter 12 begins on Thursday, March 3, 2016.  God bless and reward you for your faithfulness and your love for His Holy Word.

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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