What does Matthew 11:1 mean?
ESV: When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.
NIV: After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.
NASB: When Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.
CSB: When Jesus had finished giving instructions to his twelve disciples, he moved on from there to teach and preach in their towns.
NLT: When Jesus had finished giving these instructions to his twelve disciples, he went out to teach and preach in towns throughout the region.
KJV: And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.
Verse Commentary:
This immediately follows Jesus' instructions to His apostles before sending them into Galilee (Matthew 10:5–8). There, they were to preach His message and perform His miracles under the authority He had given to them. They were sent in pairs, separately from the others and without Jesus. Christ's intent was not to give Himself time off. Rather, He sent them out to multiply the number of workers in the harvest (Matthew 9:37–38). As the Twelve (Matthew 10:1–4) set out on their journey, Jesus heads into Galilee, as well, to continue His own ministry of preaching and healing. In the following verses, He will respond to a question from John the Baptist, who is in prison (Matthew 4:12).
Verse Context:
Matthew 11:1–19 deals with John the Baptist, who is in prison at this point (Matthew 4:12). John sends his own disciples to ask if Jesus is really the Messiah. Jesus gives them an answer and then upholds John to the crowds. He reminds them of John's strength and affirms that John was the prophet who fulfilled the prophecy about the one who would prepare the way for the Messiah. This generation, though, rejected John's message of repentance, saying that John had a demon and that Jesus was a glutton and a drunkard. Jesus insists He and John will be proved right in the end.
Chapter Summary:
John the Baptist sends his disciples to ask if Jesus is really the Messiah. Jesus gives them a specific answer to use to reassure John and then upholds John to the crowds. John fulfills the prophecy about the one who would prepare the people for the Messiah. This generation, though, refused to hear John or Jesus, deciding John had a demon and Jesus was a glutton and drunkard. Jesus condemns the cities that refuse to repent and thanks the Father for revealing the truth to little children. He offers rest for those who are weary and burdened.
Chapter Context:
Matthew 11 follows Jesus' instructions to the apostles about taking His message and miracles to the towns of Israel with His own continued ministry of teaching (Matthew 10). Jesus answers a question from John the Baptist's followers, and upholds John's ministry. Jesus condemns several cities in Galilee for rejecting His teaching, despite obvious signs. He thanks His Father for hiding the truth from those who arrogantly think they are wise. He offers rest for those who will take His yoke. This leads to further confrontations with critics, recorded in chapter 12.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
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