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Scripture Reading: Matthew 11:1-6

Matthew 11:1-19: John - The Messiah's Messenger



1.  Matt. 3:1-6: John and his work anticipated the coming kingdom of the Messiah, fulfilling OT predictions of an approaching king (Isa. 40:3).

2.  Messiah’s coming brought salvation and signified an impending judgment against sin, Mal. 3:1; 4:5-6Time of decision.

3.  Matt. 11:1-19: John, who had announced Jesus to Israel, was now in prison.  Would the kingdom come as predicted?  What kind of Messiah should they look for? 

4.  John’s life and how people reacted to him reveal their acceptance or rejection of the Messiah (Lk. 7:28-30) – and whether they would be saved or face the condemnation of Messiah’s judgment.



  A.  A Man of Faith, Matt. 11:2-6 (Jno. 1:29-34; 3:25-30).

    1.  Men of faith face trials and tests of their faith.

    2.  Circumstances for John tested him (prison, 11:2; 4:12).

    3.  Looked for reassurance about the nature of the Messiah and His kingdom (to avoid doubt and despair).

      a.  Kingdom was of great interest to many, 11:11-12.

      b.  Heard of His works, 11:2 (9:35).

      c.  How did they harmonize with the Jewish concept of the kingdom?  (cf. Acts 1:6)

    4.  Rather than doubt Jesus, John asked for an explanation and understanding, cf. Lk. 17:5.

    5.  Answer: Necessary inference must be drawn to conclude Jesus is Messiah:

      a.  His  works showed Him to be Messiah, Lk. 7:20-23; Isa. 29:18-19; 35:5-6 (Jno. 5:36).

      b.  So, conform your concept of the kingdom to this reality.

      c.  Every reason to believe John accepted the evidence and drew the right conclusion: Jesus is the Messiah!

    6.  Teaches us how to use NI to determine truth (Acts 5:38-39).

  B.  A Man of Conviction, 11:7.

    1.  Not swayed by public opinion.

    2.  Moral courage, 3:7-8; 11:2 (14:3-4).

    3.  Christians need similar courage, Phil. 1:27-28; 2 Tim. 1:7.

       -Stand for truth despite opposi­tion (plan of salvation; true worship; work of church; MDR; fellowship, moral purity…)

  C.  A Man of Sacrifice, 11:8 (3:4).

    1.  Not self-indulgence, 10:37-39; Lk. 9:23; 14:33; Rom. 12:1-2.

    2.  Determination to be different for God’s sake, cf. Phil. 3:8.

  D.  A Man of Truth, 11:9.

    1.  Without truth, the other qualities become vain; With it, godly character is built.

    2.  He preached God’s word, Lk. 3:2-3.

    3.  Truth builds char­acter and shapes our conduct, Jno. 8:31-32.

    4.  Willing to preach the truth results, 2 Tim. 4:2-5; 1 Pet. 3:15.

  E.  John Taught People to Press into the King­dom, 11:11-15.

    1.  John taught men to strive to enter, Lk. 13:23-24.

      a.  By means of gospel, Lk. 16:16.

      b.  Through repentance (Lk. 3:7-8).

    2.  Because of its superior blessings, 11:11.

    3.  Law and prophets anticipated kingdom; now realized, 11:15

        – Ears to hear!



  A.  John was not a Vacillating Man, 11:7-8.

      -John was not a spectacle to entertain their fancy; not swayed by public opinion; not enticed by luxury and ease.

  B.  John was a Prophet and More: Messiah’s Messenger, 11:9-10 (Mal. 3:1); Elijah of prophecy, 11:14; Mal. 4:5-6.

  C.  John was Preparing People for Messiah’s Kingdom, 11:11-13.

    1.  “All true greatness arises from association, relation, and contact with Jesus Christ” (McGarvey, Fourfold Gospel).

    2.  Kingdom citizens “are greater in station, privilege, and knowledge” (Ibid.). Jno. 1:12-13 (3:5).



1.  Wisdom is justified by her chil­dren (11:16-19); Lk. 7:29-35:

  a.  Sinners with good hearts obeyed John’s message, 7:29.

  b.  Self-righteous rejected the will of God and its messengers (John and Jesus), Lk. 7:30-34.   

2.  Nevertheless, the Messiah and kingdom John anticipated has come (Matt. 9:1).  You can enter it by obeying the gospel.