May. 10, 2020
Scripture Reading: Matthew 11:2-18
Background: Jesus has been teaching and healing throughout Galilee. He has returned to Nazareth only to be challenged of authenticity; Is not this the carpenter's son? He proclaimed that a prophet is not without honor except in his hometown. This next account is going to teach us just how a prophet of truth is not easily received. Because of his honesty and integrity, John the Baptist is beheaded. John is not the only prophet to receive a martyr's death, but he is the greatest of them. John transcends the Old Testament to the New. HE was prophesied of himself in Isaiah 40. However, John the Baptist is not the focus of this text. Through this account we should see the fulfillment of John's mission to prepare the way. He is pointing to an all sufficient Savior.
Read/Pray: Mark 6:14-29
1.) The fame of Jesus has reached the king.
1. The title "king" may be a jab. Matthew and Luke call him the "tetrarch".
a. Is he John?
i. John has been beheaded. (Matthew 14:2)
1. Herod suspects resurrected John perhaps.
2. He would be familiar with the resurrected life of those who were restored in 1 Kings 17:22; 2 Kings 4:34,35
a. One restored by Elijah and the other by Elisha.
b. This would be a temporary resurrection as those raised in the Old Testament did eventually die and remained that way.
b. Is he Elijah?
i. Jesus testifies that John is the Elijah who is to come.
1. Matthew 11:13-14, "If you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who is to come."
a. Not resurrected because Jews were aware of Elijah's departure. (2 Kings 2:11)
c. Is he just a prophet?
i. Prophets were from God, used to proclaim the coming of another. Not one of them claimed to be God or even equal to God.
1. Isaiah 6, " I saw the Lord sitting upon the throne, high and lifted up; and the train of His robe filled the temple."
ii. Jesus claimed to be the Son of God.
1. Matthew 26: 63-64, "The high priest spoke, 'I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.' Jesus replied, 'You have said so.'"
2. John 8:58, "Truly, truly. I say to you, before Abraham was, I am."
3. John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
2. Jesus and Herod Antipas agree?!... On one thing.
a. Mark 6:20, "...for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept his safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly."
b. Matthew 11:11, "Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist..."
3. John fully prepared the way!
a. They both preached a message of repentance, "for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand".
i. Matthew 3:2 - John
ii. Matthew 4:17 - Jesus
b. They both baptized.
i. John baptized with water.
ii. Jesus with the Holy Spirit and fire. (Matthew 3:11)
iii. John 3:22-23, "...Jesus and his disciples went into Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing. John also was baptizing..."
c. Arrested for the truth.
i. Mark 6:17-18, "For it was Herod who had sent and seized John and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because he had married her. For John has been saying to Herod, 'It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."- John.
ii. John 10:36, "Do you say of him who the gather consecrated and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, I am the Son of God?" - Jesus
1. John 14:6, " I am the way, the truth, and the life..."
d. Mock trials.
i. Herod was tricked into ordering John the Baptist's head on a platter. No trial
ii. Jesus was found not guilty, yet was surrendered to the mob to be crucified.
1. Releasing Barabbas. (Matthew 27:26)
e. Shameful deaths. Not fitting of a Jewish person.
i. Beheading was barbaric and Greek.
ii. Crucifixion was demeaning and only for the least of Rome.
Conclusion: Both men were innocent, but murdered on behalf of the guilty. The difference is one was only the messenger; The other the Messiah. Ones life was taken; The other freely given that you and I- and all who have trusted and all that will trust- will be reconciled to the Father. He becomes our advocate, making petitions for us in the heavenly throne room. I ask you, Who is this man to you?