Monday in the Seventh Week of Ordinary Time

Matthew 11:20-30

The Advantage of Being a “Child”

I did not comment on part of our passage yesterday, but it goes well with what we shall discuss today.  Jesus chides the generation of his day as children calling out to their playmates, “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.”  (This may have been a saying of that day which Jesus borrowed.)  At any rate, the meaning is that no matter how righteous a person may be, people find fault; after all, John was austere in manner of life and the people said he had a devil, while Jesus came eating and drinking and was called a glutton.  Jesus moves from there to pronouncing judgment on the cities where these people lived, whose hearts were so hard that they could not discern the work of God that was openly manifest in his ministry.

If Jesus’ words sound harsh, then imagine just how wicked the Lord considers darkened minds and hardened hearts.  The cities Jesus named are the ones in Galilee where he spent the most time: Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum.  Jesus actually declares that if he had done the deeds in Tyre, Sidon, and even Sodom, which he had done in those cities, they would have repented long ago.  Tyre and Sidon were Phoenician cities given to commerce and greed, and, of course, Sodom (and sister Gomorrah) is considered the epitome of “sin city” in the Bible for sexual immorality and injustice (Genesis 19:1-29; Ezekiel 16:49; Jude 7).  And yet, the Son of God walked in and among the people of the aforementioned cities, and they did not know him (John 1:11).  I wonder if our Lord would be treated any differently if he walked among our cities today; I think not, for mankind is little changed over two-thousand years.

Then Jesus praises his Father that the wonderful things of the kingdom and salvation have been revealed to and understood by, not the wise, but “little children,” “for such was [His] gracious will.”  The Son is only known by the Father and the Father only by the Son – “and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him,” which apparently are these “little children.”  It is these who labor and are heavy laden, laden with the trials of this world, the injustice of it, and their own sinful natures and crosses which they must bear (Galatians 6:5).  Jesus himself declares that he is like them: gentle and lowly in heart.  His yoke is easy and his burden light.  Do be careful with this.  Jesus is not saying that we may have him and our sins, too.  Jesus is saying that his yoke, his law, is a law of liberty, in which we are freed from sin, and liberated to serve him (James 1:25; John 8:31-36).

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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