DAILY DISCIPLINE #136
By Colleen Donahue
If you've ever met a "know it all" you quickly learn that they don't know it all. They appear confident as they speak and it becomes their method of controlling the people and environment they are part of. The sad fact for them is that they are not open to the truth because they think they have all the truth.
As we look at these next verses in Matthew, Jesus exposes the close minded Jewish authorities that knew it all and didn't recognize the truth even when He stood in their midst. You'll discover the two deadly sins that keep "know it alls" from the truth and the one virtue needed by all of us to find the truth. Let's begin our study on.....
The Way to Truth
Studies continued from Matthew 11
Day 1- Matthew and Luke have a little different way of saying things but at some point they must have heard Jesus talking about violence and the kingdom. If you put together what they have both written we come closer to the truth that Jesus has for us.
Matthew 11:12 / Luke 16:16
William Barclay writes:
"What Jesus may well have said is: Always my kingdom will suffer violence; always savage men will try to break it up, and snatch it away and destroy it; and therefore only the man who is desperately in earnest, only the man in whom the violence of devotion matches and defeats the violence of persecution will in the end enter into it."
Day 2- Once again Jesus confirms that John the Baptist is "the Elijah" or the final prophet to come just before the Messiah. John is the final one to point the way to Him (Jesus).
But the Lord ends this confirmation with an appeal.
Day 3- God can reveal truth to men and women whom he has given free wills ---but, only we can choose to believe and act on that belief. Although individual Jewish men and women did believe John the Baptist when he said that Jesus was the Messiah, it was a sad fact that the Jewish nation as a whole rejected Him.
Mark 6:3 / Luke 4:28-29 / John 1:11 / John 12:48
Day 4- What are we meant to do when we receive revelation or truth?
Acts 17:11 / 1 Thessalonians 2:13
Day 5- It all starts with hearing -- i.e. our being able to listen.
Proverbs 8:34-35 / Ecclesiastes 5:1 / Luke 8:15
A Sad Rebuke - Matthew 11:16-19
Day 6- Jesus sadly looks at the people he is surrounded by and compares them with children playing games. When men don't want the truth they will always find fault with it and want to live contrary to it.
Day 7- They saw John the Baptist living an ascetic life. They criticized him for it. Then they saw Jesus eating and drinking with friends and acquaintances and they criticized him as well. They listened to neither man.
What are the symptoms of people that despise the truth?
2 Chronicles 30:10 / 2 Chronicles 36:16 / Psalm 50:17 / Jeremiah 6:10
Day 8- In the end "wisdom is proved right by her actions." Under John's preaching men and women had moved toward God and repentance. Under Christ's teaching many lives had been changed as men and women were made whole and well in their minds and bodies. These were the tangible results of ministries heavily judged and criticized. In the end truth will be proved right by the events of men's lives.
Condemnation for The Unrepentant - Matthew 11: 20-24
Day 9- There is so much that Jesus did which isn't recorded in the gospels. In these verses we learn that most of his miracles were performed in three cities -- Capernaum, Korazin (about an hours walk north of Capernaum) and Bethsaida (a fishing village on the west bank of the Jordan). Christ's tone here is one of anger mixed with sorrow. Why?
Matthew 11: 20-24
Day 10- The fact that most of Christ's miracles had been performed in these three cities made them very privileged. They had been able to personally hear the Lord speak and witness the power of God. If any people should have believed that He was the Son of God it should have been these men and women.
John 9:41 / John 12: 37 / John 15:22-25
Day 11- What were the sins of these people? It was first unbelief and this produced in them indifference towards Christ. Most people didn't do anything against Christ -- they just disregarded him.
Matthew 22: 5
It is the same today. Most people don't hate Christ (or Christianity), they simply ignore him and live as though he was just another man in the stream of history with little effect on their own life. Indifference kills as much as overtly attacking something. If we live in unbelief and indifference what will be true for us?
Proverbs 29:1 / John 8:24 / Romans 2:5
Day 12- Many will stand on judgment day and say "But I didn't do anything!" Why will these words be our own condemnation?
Yes, doing nothing is a sin and as such will be judged.
The Authority of Christ - Matthew 11: 25-27
Day 13- Jesus, in this prayer to his Father captures his experience with men and women. It was a fact that the Rabbis, Scribes, Pharisees and "wise men" had rejected him. But the "little children" or the common, untaught people had believed in him.
Matthew 11: 25-26
Why had the intellectual men rejected Christ?
Zechariah 7:12 / Acts 28:27 / Ephesians 4:18
Day 14 - Jesus is not condemning intelligent thinking. He is condemning intellectual pride. He is not linking ignorance with faith but humility with faith. Humility opens the way for men to receive the good news of the gospel but pride shuts it out.
Proverbs 29:23 / Luke 18:17
Day 15- Jesus now states his greatest claim. He alone can reveal God to men. If we want to know what God is like -- what he is thinking and what's in his heart then we must study and know Jesus Christ. Anyone through Christ can know the Father but he must be humble enough and trusting enough to receive him.
Matthew 11:27 / John 10:30, 37-38 / John 12:45 / John 14: 7-10
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