What does Matthew 11:10 mean?
ESV: This is he of whom it is written, “‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’
NIV: This is the one about whom it is written: ''I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.'
NASB: This is the one about whom it is written: ‘BEHOLD, I AM SENDING MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY BEFORE YOU.’
CSB: This is the one about whom it is written:See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;he will prepare your way before you.
NLT: John is the man to whom the Scriptures refer when they say, ‘Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way before you.’
KJV: For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
Verse Commentary:
The crowds following Jesus are now hearing about John the Baptist. Christ is reminding them that when the people went to see John in the wilderness, preaching about the kingdom and baptizing, he was strong and wore rough clothes (Matthew 11:7–9). Jesus has described John the Baptist as a prophet and more than a prophet. Now He quotes from Malachi 3:1 to show what He means.

John the Baptist was the fulfilment of Malachi's prophecy: "Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me" (Malachi 3:1) These words are spoken by the Lord of the one who will come before Him when He comes. This is a prophecy about the Messiah.

It's extremely important to note that Jesus confirms His own identity as the Messiah by making this reference. His insistence that John is the one Scriptures predicted to herald the Messiah means Jesus Himself is the Messiah. Jesus is upholding both John as God's messenger and Himself as the "one who is to come" (Matthew 11:3).
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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