|His eyes are on the wonderful sparrows he has made–and I am not surprised–and also on those who believe in him.|
24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!
Do not be afraid of people. Be afraid of evil and of Satan.
Not even the smallest of creatures, sold for the smallest Roman coin is outside the care of the Father.
The Father is sovereign over even seemingly insignificant events.
You are under your Father’s care, so do not be afraid. If the sparrows are under the Father’s care, how much more are you!
He will acknowledge his fearless followers. Those who disown him for personal gain or to be cool, he will also disown.
NIV The inevitable result of following Christ is conflict–between light and darkness, between those who follow Christ, and those who do not.
The Lord rewards hospitality. I know from my own life that there is no question about this.
ESV on “one of these little ones.” Those of little standing, who may be overlooked as leaders focus on the more prominent in the community.
2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
Even the greatest of Christ’s followers can be prone to despondency and depression.
4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[b] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
His actions–the signs of the kingdom– are the proof that Jesus is the Messiah. His works speak for him.
ESV –Jesus ministry is in line with the prophetic promises about the time of salvation, esp. in the words of Isaiah.
7 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 8If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. 9 Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written:
“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.’[c]
11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
The least in the Kingdom of Heaven who have the spirit of Jesus himself living within their hearts are greater than even John the Baptist.
12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it.
It takes effort and self-denial and violence to our natural desires to enter the Kingdom of God.
13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. 15 Whoever has ears, let them hear.
16 “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:
17 “‘We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not mourn.’
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”
It is near impossible to avoid hostile criticism, whatever one does.
The criticism of the Pharisees actually provides quite a winsome picture of Jesus who comes “eating and drinking, and is accused of being, ‘a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’”
Woe on Unrepentant Towns
20 Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades.[e] For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”
The Father Revealed in the Son
25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
The truths of the Kingdom are revealed to those who have simple, childlike hearts.
NIV–Possibly a reference to the heavy yoke the Pharisees places on men’s shoulders.
ESV notes–The wider application is that Jesus provides eternal rest for all who seek forgiveness of their sins and freedom from the crushing legalistic burden and guilt of trying to earn salvation by good works.
In contrast to the multiplicity of the lay, Jesus’s yoke of discipleship brings rest through simple commitment to him.