Matthew Chapter 11
The end of the ministry of John the Baptist (see John's Last Days) marked the beginning of the ministry of Jesus Christ. John knew that The Messiah had come, which would naturally have caused him to think that He would free John from Herod's (see The Herods) fortress at Machaerus. It was not to be however; John was martyred because of his witness of the Truth (martyr originally only meant witness - but since people were so often killed for their witness, martyr came to mean being killed - see Martyrs). John will be set free, but not until the second coming of Christ (see also I've Come To Take You Home).
"11:1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples [see Disciples and Apostles and The Twelve Apostles], he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.
11:2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works [see The Manifestation Of Faith] of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 11:3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?
11:4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: 11:5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear [see Healing], the dead are raised up [see Why Were Their Deaths Interrupted?], and the poor have the gospel [see The Gospel Of God's Coming] preached to them. 11:6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
11:7 And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? 11:8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
11:9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet [see Prophets]. 11:10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist [see The Other Miraculous Birth]: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 11:14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come [see The Elijah To Come]. 11:15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
11:16 But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, 11:17 And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.
11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. 11:19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of Publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children." (Matthew 11:1-19 KJV)
Christ grew up in Nazareth; He lived in Capernaum after His ministry began. Both cities are world famous because of Jesus Christ, and yet the truth is that both cities rejected the Christ - as did other cities of Galilee, such as Chorazin and Bethsaida, people who plainly saw His miracles, but refused to repent.
"11:20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: 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. 11:22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment [see When Will You Be Judged?, also Could Christ Return Tonight?], than for you. 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. 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." (Matthew 11:20-24 KJV)
The Believer's Rest will come at the end of The Process Of Conversion. His "my burden is light" is dual in meaning - see The Light Of Life.
"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.
11:26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
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.
11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
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. 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:25-30 KJV)
Matthew Chapter 12
Jesus Christ absolutely never sinned, which means that He observed and obeyed all of God's Ten Commandments perfectly (see How To Be A True Christian: Lesson 1,
Lesson 9 and
Lesson 10). And yet the Messiah was falsely accused of being a "sinner," as in this incident regarding the Sabbath. What made the religious authorities say such a blasphemous and foolish thing? See Did Jesus Break The Law?
"12:1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day [see Sunday Is Not The Sabbath] through the Corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. 12:2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
12:3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; 12:4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the showbread [see Bread of the Presence], which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? 12:5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? 12:6 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
12:7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. 12:8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
12:9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: 12:10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.
12:11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? 12:12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
12:13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. 12:14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him." (Matthew 12:1-14 KJV)
Although the (mostly corrupt) religious leadership of that time hated Him, Christ was viewed with favor by great multitudes of people, exactly as prophesied.
"12:15 But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; 12:16 And charged them that they should not make him known:
12:17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
12:18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall show judgment to the Gentiles. 12:19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. 12:20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.
12:21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust." (Matthew 12:15-21 KJV)
Many of the Pharisees (not all of them; some, such as Nicodemus and Paul became Christians) opposed the Christ with lies and blasphemy.
"12:22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a Devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. 12:23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?
12:24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils [see Baal-zebub and Beelzebub].
12:25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: 12:26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? 12:27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. 12:28 But if I cast out devils by The Spirit Of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
12:29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and Blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good [see Good Fruit]; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 12:37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." (Matthew 12:22-37 KJV)
Jonah's experience with the great fish at sea was an actual event, exactly as Christ said. He even used the incident as an analogy for His three days and three nights in the tomb before His resurrection (see also The Son Rose As The Sun Set and Sun Worship).
"12:38 Then certain of the Scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. 12:42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 12:44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 12:45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation." (Matthew 12:38-45 KJV)
Jesus was the firstborn of Mary. While Jesus was born of a virgin, His brothers and sisters were conceived in the natural way (see Mary's Other Children?).
"12:46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 12:47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
12:48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 12:49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." (Matthew 12:46-50 KJV)
Matthew Chapter 13
Christ's parable of the sower explains why there is such difference in how people respond to the Gospel. Up to a point, it involves simply a matter of choosing to live this life as a means toward eternal life, rather than living this life as though it is more important i.e. "the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful" (verse 22 below). Beyond that however is whether or not one's time of understanding is now, rather than later (see When Their Eyes Were Opened and The Cure For The Carnal Mind; also When Will You Be Judged?)
"13:1 The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. 13:2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. 13:3 And he spake many things unto them in Parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 13:4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 13:5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 13:6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 13:7 And some fell among Thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 13:8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 13:9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries [see Mystery] of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 13:12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 13:17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
13:18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 13:20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty." (Matthew 13:1-23 KJV)
Christ's parable of the weeds explains why there is yet evil in the world (see the Fact Finder question below to understand why "tares" are allowed to grow among God's crop).
"13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 13:26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
13:27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
13:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this.
The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
13:29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn." (Matthew 13:24-30 KJV)
The parables of the mustard seed and yeast/leaven both refer to how the Kingdom of God will grow over the entire earth (see Zionism).
"13:31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: 13:32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
13:34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: 13:35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world." (Matthew 13:31-35 KJV)
Notice how Christ often spoke with parables, as a means of teaching to those whose time had come, while speaking to everyone (see Why Did Jesus Use Parables?). In this example, Christ explained His parable of the weeds/tares only after most people had left for the day.
"13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
13:37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 13:39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 13:41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 13:42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire [see Baptism Of Fire]: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 13:43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father [see Resurrections]. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." (Matthew 13:36-43 KJV)
The parables of the hidden treasure and pearls speak of how nothing in this physical life is more important or valuable than The Process Of Conversion for eternal life, to which Christ also said, "16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works" (Matthew 16:24-27 KJV).
"13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
13:46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it." (Matthew 13:44-46 KJV)
The parable of the net plainly describes how the good will be separated from the evil after Christ returns to establish the Kingdom of God.
"13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: 13:48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. 13:49 So shall it be at the end of the world [see The End Of The World?]: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, 13:50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
13:51 Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things?
They say unto him, Yea, Lord.
13:52 Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old." (Matthew 13:47-52 KJV)
Jesus Christ was the ultimate prophet with honor, in that time. Notice here also the plain references to Jesus' siblings (see Mary's Other Children?).
"13:53 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence.
13:54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? 13:55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 13:56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? 13:57 And they were offended in him.
But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.
13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief." (Matthew 13:53-58 KJV)
Fact Finder: Why does God allow evil to exist, for now?
See Why Does God Allow Evil? and No Pain, No Gain