Lessons from Matthew 11: Repent
They were cynical and skeptical because He challenged their comfortable, secure, and self-centered lives. And He compared then to spoiled children sitting in the market places, calling out and refusing to play games with each other.
The people of Jesus’s day did not accept the witness of John the Baptist, nor did they accept the witness and presence of God Himself found in Jesus Christ. They could not be pleased no matter what John or Jesus said.
And in verses 18-19 they falsely accused John and Jesus of being led by or filled with the devil or his demons.
Sadly enough, it is no different today.
God has many messengers with many varying gifts:
- powerful speakers who can move crowds to tears
- intellectuals who can make a careful case for Christianity and present many powerful proofs of the gospel
- teachers who are outgoing, talkative, and people-oriented
- thoughtful people
- writers of books
- those who lead movements
- people who speak on the radio or appear on TV
- older ones who teach with the wisdom of their years
- those who are young and proclaim the truth with youthful vigor and passion
But none of this matters to a generation of determined sinners who say in opposition, “This one is too loud, that one is too quiet, this one is too intellectual, and that one is too superficial.”
What is to happen to such people?
They will perish at the judgment, as Jesus explained in verses 20-24.
Jesus specifically denounced the cities in which most of His miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. It was not only individual people who had the opportunity to see and hear Jesus. Towns and cities saw Jesus’s mighty works, yet they also rejected Him.
Jesus said that the Jewish cities had seen His miracles, but they refused to repent. Therefore they would receive greater judgment than the wicked cities of Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom.
These cities were known for their evil, arrogant people. And Jesus said that if these cities had seen Jesus’s miracles, they would have repented.
How much greater judgment can unbelievers of our day expect!
Why? Because we have both the Old and New Testaments. People of our time have the witness from more than 2000 years of those who have believed in Jesus Christ, the unique Son of God, the Promised Messiah.
We have more evidence, more truth, and more knowledge than ever before and yet we are probably more full of sin than ever before in history!