Church of Christ
Locks Cross Roads
4) Matthew 11 - Verse 20 through 30
Jesus denounced those privileged cities where He had spent the major part of His earthly ministry, because they
remained undecided and unwilling to turn to God after all His efforts and evidences given to convince them. Wicked
cities with less opportunity will not be severely condemned as those reasonably good cities that had refused to take
a positive stand for Jesus.
Since His great Galilean ministry would already have been concluded, His words become a warning to any other
cities in the virgin territory to which He would send the Seventy, that to reject Jesus or any of His messengers is to
invite the same dreadful judgment pending for the Galilean cities that had remained impenitent.
Then began he to upbraid "to reproach justifiably." But why would the usually quiet, gentle Jesus be so disturbed?
We feel the ironic contrast in Matthew's introduction: God's part in seeking to save these cities had been mighty
works done by Jesus. Men's reaction: they repented not!
Jesus scolds them, because He knows that a refusal to repent constitutes defiance of the living God! (Romans
2:3-6). They were so unforgivable, for they rejected evidence that would have persuaded some of the wickedest
cities in the world!
This entire section (Matthew 11:20-30) is Jesus' own claim to be Judge Himself, who would one day take up the
winnowing shovel to separate the wheat from the chaff. The day would come when He would actually seize the ax to
cut down fruitless trees. And the first among the worthless to go down would be these very cities who had had the
finest opportunities to know the truth of God and live by it!
Jesus' ministry was two-pronged, consisting of action and preaching (Acts 1:1). His "doing" came before his
"teaching." Jesus first established His right to say what He came to reveal, then He preached it.
Incidents in the tri-city area:
- Jesus moved there with His family and disciples - (John 2:12) At Cana in the first year of His ministry.
- He healed the nobleman's son who was dying at Capernaum (John 4:46-54).
- Miraculous catch of fish, called four fishermen, healed many (Mathew 4, Mark 1, Luke 5).
- In Capernaum the man with the unclean demon liberated on the Sabbath in the synagogue (Mark 1, Luke 4).
- Peter's mother-in-law healed that afternoon (Matthew 8, Mark 1, Luke 4).
- That evening, whole city gathered at door for healing.
- Paralytic borne by for men was cured (Matthew 9, Mark 2).
- Centurion's servant healed (Matthew 8, Luke 7).
- Stilling the tempest, with other little boats from cities also present on the lake with Jesus (Matthew 8, Mark
4:36, Luke 8).
- Jairus' daughter raised from the dead (Matthew 9, Mark 5, Luke 8).
- Women with hemorrhage cured (Matthew 9, Mark 5, Luke 8).
- Some of Jesus' greatest messages were delivered in this area:
- The Sermon on the Bread of Life (John 6:48 and surrounding verses).
- The Message on Human Traditions (Matthew 15, Mark 7).
- The Sermon on True Greatness, Stumbling-blocks, Mistreatment and Forgiveness (Matthew 18).
"Morality cannot be substituted for repentance."