Matthäus 11

1 Und es geschah, als Jesus seine Befehle an seine zwölf Jünger vollendet hatte, ging er von dannen hinweg, um in ihren Städten zu lehren und zu predigen.
2 Als aber Johannes im Gefängnis die Werke des Christus hörte, sandte er durch seine Jünger
3 und ließ ihm sagen: Bist du der Kommende, oder sollen wir auf einen anderen warten?
4 Und Jesus antwortete und sprach zu ihnen: Gehet hin und verkündet Johannes, was ihr höret und sehet:
5 Blinde werden sehend, und Lahme wandeln, Aussätzige werden gereinigt, und Taube hören, und Tote werden auferweckt, und Armen wird gute Botschaft verkündigt;
6 und glückselig ist, wer irgend sich nicht an mir ärgern wird!
7 Als diese aber hingingen, fing Jesus an, zu den Volksmengen zu reden über Johannes: Was seid ihr in die Wüste hinausgegangen zu sehen? Ein Rohr vom Winde hin und her bewegt?
8 Aber was seid ihr hinausgegangen zu sehen? Einen Menschen, mit weichen Kleidern angetan? Siehe, die die weichen Kleider tragen, sind in den Häusern der Könige.
9 Aber was seid ihr hinausgegangen zu sehen? Einen Propheten? Ja, sage ich euch, und mehr als einen Propheten.
10 Denn dieser ist es, von dem geschrieben steht: "Siehe, ich sende meinen Boten vor deinem Angesicht her, der deinen Weg vor dir bereiten wird."
11 Wahrlich, ich sage euch, unter den von Weibern Geborenen ist kein Größerer aufgestanden als Johannes der Täufer; der Kleinste aber im Reiche der Himmel ist größer als er.
12 Aber von den Tagen Johannes' des Täufers an bis jetzt wird dem Reiche der Himmel Gewalt angetan, und Gewalttuende reißen es an sich.
13 Denn alle Propheten und das Gesetz haben geweissagt bis auf Johannes.
14 Und wenn ihr es annehmen wollt, er ist Elias, der kommen soll.
15 Wer Ohren hat zu hören, der höre!
16 Wem aber soll ich dieses Geschlecht vergleichen? Es ist Kindern gleich, die auf den Märkten sitzen und ihren Gespielen zurufen und sagen:
17 Wir haben euch gepfiffen, und ihr habt nicht getanzt; wir haben euch Klagelieder gesungen, und ihr habt nicht gewehklagt.
18 Denn Johannes ist gekommen, der weder aß noch trank, und sie sagen: Er hat einen Dämon.
19 Der Sohn des Menschen ist gekommen, der da ißt und trinkt, und sie sagen: Siehe, ein Fresser und Weinsäufer, ein Freund der Zöllner und Sünder; und die Weisheit ist gerechtfertigt worden von ihren Kindern.
20 Dann fing er an, die Städte zu schelten, in welchen seine meisten Wunderwerke geschehen waren, weil sie nicht Buße getan hatten.
21 Wehe dir, Chorazin! Wehe dir, Bethsaida! Denn wenn zu Tyrus und Sidon die Wunderwerke geschehen wären, die unter euch geschehen sind, längst hätten sie in Sack und Asche Buße getan.
22 Doch ich sage euch: Tyrus und Sidon wird es erträglicher ergehen am Tage des Gerichts als euch.
23 Und du, Kapernaum, die du bis zum Himmel erhöht worden bist, bis zum Hades wirst du hinabgestoßen werden; denn wenn in Sodom die Wunderwerke geschehen wären, die in dir geschehen sind, es wäre geblieben bis auf den heutigen Tag.
24 Doch ich sage euch: Dem Sodomer Lande wird es erträglicher ergehen am Tage des Gerichts als dir.
25 Zu jener Zeit hob Jesus an und sprach: Ich preise dich, Vater, Herr des Himmels und der Erde, daß du dies vor Weisen und Verständigen verborgen hast, und hast es Unmündigen geoffenbart.
26 Ja, Vater, denn also war es wohlgefällig vor dir.
27 Alles ist mir übergeben von meinem Vater; und niemand erkennt den Sohn, als nur der Vater, noch erkennt jemand den Vater, als nur der Sohn, und wem irgend der Sohn ihn offenbaren will.
28 Kommet her zu mir, alle ihr Mühseligen und Beladenen, und ich werde euch Ruhe geben.
29 Nehmet auf euch mein Joch und lernet von mir, denn ich bin sanftmütig und von Herzen demütig, und ihr werdet Ruhe finden für eure Seelen;
30 denn mein Joch ist sanft, und meine Last ist leicht.

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Matthäus 11 Commentary

Chapter 11

Christ's preaching. (1) Christ's answer to John's disciples. (2-6) Christ's testimony to John the Baptist. (7-15) The perverseness of the Jews. (16-24) The gospel revealed to the simple. The heavy-laden invited. (25-30)

Verse 1 Our Divine Redeemer never was weary of his labour of love; and we should not be weary of well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Verses 2-6 Some think that John sent this inquiry for his own satisfaction. Where there is true faith, yet there may be a mixture of unbelief. The remaining unbelief of good men may sometimes, in an hour of temptation; call in question the most important truths. But we hope that John's faith did not fail in this matter, and that he only desired to have it strengthened and confirmed. Others think that John sent his disciples to Christ for their satisfaction. Christ points them to what they heard and saw. Christ's gracious condescensions and compassions to the poor, show that it was he that should bring to the world the tender mercies of our God. Those things which men see and hear, if compared with the Scriptures, direct in what way salvation is to be found. It is difficult to conquer prejudices, and dangerous not to conquer them; but those who believe in Christ, their faith will be found so much the more to praise, and honour, and glory.

Verses 7-15 What Christ said concerning John, was not only for his praise, but for the people's profit. Those who attend on the word will be called to give an account of their improvements. Do we think when the sermon is done, the care is over? No, then the greatest of the care begins. John was a self-denying man, dead to all the pomps of the world and the pleasures of sense. It becomes people, in all their appearances, to be consistent with their character and their situation. John was a great and good man, yet not perfect; therefore he came short of glorified saints. The least in heaven knows more, loves more, and does more in praising God, and receives more from him, than the greatest in this world. But by the kingdom of heaven here, is rather to be understood the kingdom of grace, the gospel dispensation in its power and purity. What reason we have to be thankful that our lot is cast in the days of the kingdom of heaven, under such advantages of light and love! Multitudes were wrought upon by the ministry of John, and became his disciples. And those strove for a place in this kingdom, that one would think had no right nor title to it, and so seemed to be intruders. It shows us what fervency and zeal are required of all. Self must be denied; the bent, the frame and temper of the mind must be altered. Those who will have an interest in the great salvation, will have it upon any terms, and not think them hard, nor quit their hold without a blessing. The things of God are of great and common concern. God requires no more from us than the right use of the faculties he has given us. People are ignorant, because they will not learn.

Verses 16-24 Christ reflects on the scribes and Pharisees, who had a proud conceit of themselves. He likens their behaviour to children's play, who being out of temper without reason, quarrel with all the attempts of their fellows to please them, or to get them to join in the plays for which they used to assemble. The cavils of worldly men are often very trifling and show great malice. Something they have to urge against every one, however excellent and holy. Christ, who was undefiled, and separate from sinners, is here represented as in league with them, and polluted by them. The most unspotted innocence will not always be a defence against reproach. Christ knew that the hearts of the Jews were more bitter and hardened against his miracles and doctrines, than those of Tyre and Sidon would have been; therefore their condemnation would be the greater. The Lord exercises his almighty power, yet he punishes none more than they deserve, and never withholds the knowledge of the truth from those who long after it.

Verses 25-30 It becomes children to be grateful. When we come to God as a Father, we must remember that he is Lord of heaven and earth, which obliges us to come to him with reverence as to the sovereign Lord of all; yet with confidence, as one able to defend us from evil, and to supply us with all good. Our blessed Lord added a remarkable declaration, that the Father had delivered into his hands all power, authority, and judgment. We are indebted to Christ for all the revelation we have of God the Father's will and love, ever since Adam sinned. Our Saviour has invited all that labour and are heavy-laden, to come unto him. In some senses all men are so. Worldly men burden themselves with fruitless cares for wealth and honours; the gay and the sensual labour in pursuit of pleasures; the slave of Satan and his own lusts, is the merest drudge on earth. Those who labour to establish their own righteousness also labour in vain. The convinced sinner is heavy-laden with guilt and terror; and the tempted and afflicted believer has labours and burdens. Christ invites all to come to him for rest to their souls. He alone gives this invitation; men come to him, when, feeling their guilt and misery, and believing his love and power to help, they seek him in fervent prayer. Thus it is the duty and interest of weary and heavy-laden sinners, to come to Jesus Christ. This is the gospel call; Whoever will, let him come. All who thus come will receive rest as Christ's gift, and obtain peace and comfort in their hearts. But in coming to him they must take his yoke, and submit to his authority. They must learn of him all things, as to their comfort and obedience. He accepts the willing servant, however imperfect the services. Here we may find rest for our souls, and here only. Nor need we fear his yoke. His commandments are holy, just, and good. It requires self-denial, and exposes to difficulties, but this is abundantly repaid, even in this world, by inward peace and joy. It is a yoke that is lined with love. So powerful are the assistances he gives us, so suitable the encouragements, and so strong the consolations to be found in the way of duty, that we may truly say, it is a yoke of pleasantness. The way of duty is the way of rest. The truths Christ teaches are such as we may venture our souls upon. Such is the Redeemer's mercy; and why should the labouring and burdened sinner seek for rest from any other quarter? Let us come to him daily, for deliverance from wrath and guilt, from sin and Satan, from all our cares, fears, and sorrows. But forced obedience, far from being easy and light, is a heavy burden. In vain do we draw near to Jesus with our lips, while the heart is far from him. Then come to Jesus to find rest for your souls.

Matthäus 11 Commentaries