Matthew 11:2-11 (Sermon Scraps)

by jpserrano on December 10, 2013 · 0 comments

Advent 3 (Year A)
Matthew 11:2-11

Context: John the Baptist is in prison and hears about Jesus.  Jesus is on his way to preach to the cities.

Location: Jesus is on his way to preach to the cities (11:1)

Characters: John The Baptist, John’s Disciples, Jesus, The Crowds

Notes:

11:2-  John was put in prison by Herod Antipas.  It’s not surprising that John would have gotten wind of Jesus since they were in the same “business.”   John, as the preparer, of God’s way has been looking for signs of a coming Messiah.  I wonder if he has asked this question before, and what kind of response he received?

11:3- John sends one of his disciples with a direct question for Jesus, but doesn’t receive a yes or no answer.  “One to come” is language that John used earlier in 3:11-the one who would come and baptize with the Holy Spirit and Fire.  John has a message to prepare for the one to come and needs to know if it is Jesus.

11:4- Jesus doesn’t give a direct answer to the question, but rather uses the messengers own experience of Jesus (hears and sees) as an answer.

11:5- These are the Messianic actions of Jesus summarized in one verse.  Jesus action fulfill Isaiah 35:5-6 and 61:1. The later he directly quotes in the Synagogue.  Jesus as the messiah is not just one of words, but of action.

11:6- The message of Jesus is offensive, because it is not fair.  The world runs on a “people get what they deserve” mentality, but this is not the way of Jesus nor the Christian.  Those who believe in retribution should be offended by God’s grace.

11:7-This verse begins Jesus’ praise for John.

11:8,9,- Jesus calls in to question people’s motives for going out to see John.  

11:10- Here is a clear statement that eschatological hopes of the Hebrew Bible are coming to fruition.  John is the prophet spoken of in Micah and Isaiah.

11:11- This statement has always perplexed me. 

 Concluding Remarks

Advent is all about the eschatological hope of the coming Messiah.  In today’s Gospel, the first steps toward the coming Kingdom of God are being taken.  John has prepared the way for Jesus and Jesus has come, is here, and will come again.  The hope of the coming Savior has been revealed in Jesus.  

If I were preaching this week, I might focus on Jesus actions as actions of God’s revealed Kingdom.  I might talk about how unfair God is.  I might also concentrate on the coming of our Lord in ways that go against the grain of what we expect.

-jpserrano

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