- Centering prayer— Pray for illumination, “Lord, open my heart and mind by the power of the Holy Spirit,” and remain in silence.
- Read slowly, keeping any words or phrase that come to your mind, and mark on them.
- Close eyes and meditate on what you read.
- Take a note if you have question, inspiration.
Read Matthew 11
Question for Messiah.
Jesus’ mission discourse in chapter 10 ends when Jesus himself goes to mission (11:1).
John the Baptist sends his disciple to ask question if Jesus is the Messiah whom they have waited or they would wait for someone else. (v3). “what you hear and see,” (v 4) is Jesus’ response.
Jesus’ action and preaching reveals who he is, his identity as God’s agent and require that people discern this identity. He is the Messiah for whom the prophets have prophesized about him. His ministry proves it.
Jesus’ action causes John in prison to pose the key question of Jesus identity. And Jesus uses prophet Isaiah’s vision to sum up his mission among the marginalized. His mission anticipates the transformation and wholeness that God’s Kingdom will bring. He announces a blessing on those who welcome him and recognize his identity.
Jesus testifies to John’s role in verse 7-15. He is a prophet who challenges current structures, and a messenger to announce the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven. His role is the role of prophet Elijah who prepared for God’s reign.
Both John and Jesus experienced rejection and serious misunderstanding. (v.16-19). John was viewed as the devil’s agent. Jesus was insulted because he was the friend of tax collectors and sinners, insulting his inclusive mercy.
Woe oracles (v 20-24) are prophetic declaration that express God’s judgement. To reject Jesus is the highlight of the judgement.
Jesus blessed those few who believe him and recognize God’s sovereignty in the context of rejection. They are common people, marginal. “my yoke,” (v29) is interpreted as God’s will, the interpretation of the law. Jesus’ yoke is kind and good, and its burden is small. The listener of the Gospel of Matthew were familiar with the purpose of the yoke in farming. Yoke is a farming tool to pull two oxen together. The stronger and experienced ox leads while weaker and smaller ox follow to learn.
After Reading —- Reflection and prayer.
- Reflect on this question, “What does God speak to me today in this chapter?
- Pray that God’s word today be the way, the life, and the truth to you.
- Live it out through the day.