Matthew 11

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Read Matthew 11

Jesus and John the Baptist

11 After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.

When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

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? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. 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.’

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. 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. 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.”

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. 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.

27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Go Deeper

Matthew 11 is a wonderfully passage rich with insight into the mind and heart of Jesus. 

The chapter opens with Jesus confirming to John that He is the Messiah. Jesus has been healing people not only physically, but (more importantly) spiritually and proclaiming the Good News of God’s salvation (v. 5). Jesus praises John the Baptist for the way he has authentically and humbly worked to prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah. Jesus talks about the destruction coming to cities who have seen His works and heard His words but have not repented. 

Arguably the most impactful part of the whole chapter comes at the very end in verses 28-30. Here, Jesus gives us a call and invites us to find rest in Him:

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Let’s unpack what Jesus is saying here. When he says “Come to me”, Jesus is telling us that He is ready and waiting with open arms to receive us. “All you who are weary and burdened” means that the only qualification we need for coming to the Savior is that we are weary and burdened. Is anyone reading this feeling that way today?

“I will give you rest” is a soul-level rest that comes from intimacy with the father. Psalm 46:10 tells us to “Be still and know that I am God…” This is a frequently-quoted verse that we sometimes overlook the significance of. The root of the phrase “be still” literally means “cease striving.” That could mean interrupting your cycle of stressed-out thoughts about school or work or other things out of your control. It could look like not holding on so tightly to your perception on social media or trying to win the approval of others. It could even be as simple as silencing notifications on your phone or laptop for an hour and taking some time to sit with the Lord.

“Take my yoke upon me and learn from me” is an instruction loaded with significance. There is so much to unpack here about how a yoke works, and the symbolism is beautiful. A yoke was a tool used to train younger animals by connecting (or yoking) them to an older, more mature animal. By attaching ourselves to Jesus, we get to learn from Jesus. With humility, this is a chance for us to admit that there are aspects of the Christian life that take learning and practice. Find comfort in the fact that you don’t have to have it all figured out right now. Jesus is walking right alongside you. You’re yoked together and you are on the journey of learning what it looks like to follow Him even more closely.

“For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” wraps up this passage. Yes, life is hard, but our relationships with Jesus don’t have to be tiresome. He made us to be in relationship with Him! This security leads us to a stillness and peace that can only be found in Him.  


  1. What is making you feel most weary and burdened right now? Jot these down and share them with the Lord.
  2. What do you think it means to cease striving? What are some areas of your life in which you need to be still?
  3. What are some areas you are looking forward to learning from Jesus in?

By the Way

Psalm 62 is all about our souls finding rest in God and God alone. Pray the words of this psalm of David over your day today.

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5 thoughts on “Matthew 11”

  1. Sitting here on a Saturday morning after pushing through another hard week, and reading these words Jesus spoke about the kingdom, completely humbles me. Jesus promises rest for the soul! He reveals himself to the childlike and has authority over EVERYTHING. (Note to self, humility counts.) The humble, gentle Savior lifts our heavy burden, because he comes along beside us and carries it WITH us. No matter the struggle, if you are a child of God, just know your toil is not in vain but attached to Christ it becomes meaningful and bearable. He’s our joy and the lifter of our weary heads.

    1. I pray you find rest and solitude with Jesus this weekend. I thought how comforting this passage would be for you today. 🤗

  2. I was having dinner with a friend yesterday, and I mentioned to her how Psalm 46:10 has been repeatedly laid at my feet when I start to become anxious about not “being busy”. I woke this morning thinking about all I needed to do before tomorrow, then here’s Psalm 46:10 again at my feet. There is a drastic desire for God to teach me during this season to trust Him…to spend time to know Him. To rest. Idleness is not on my agenda apparently.

    The old hymn “Come Unto Me” came to mind. I tried reading about the author in my hymnology books and he wasn’t in there. Charles Price Jones has published over 43 hymns and written even more, and leaves behind an very interesting biography.

  3. Not sure about yall but I do not rely well on others. I love the thought of ” I will give you rest” but that also means I have to “be still”. When my mom passed away I had a very hard time, never had I been depressed in such a way. I felt like I was drowning. But God put people in my path and this verse Psalm 46:10 Be still and I know that I am God… I do not be still probably ever at all, ever, but I did put my trust and believing back in God’s court. We had lots of talks, in which I was assured that He was there. I am so thankful that Jesus was so obedient. He did the Father’s will so that I can find that rest. He fulfilled all that was required so that I can be a child of God, WOOHOO!!!
    God when this world become so overwhelmingly noisy thank you for Your PEACE!!! Thank You for Your rest. Thank You for Your calmness. Thank You for Your loving gentle silence. Thank You for holding me. Thank You for tenderness. Thank You for comfort. Thank You for helping me to slow myself down. God I am so in AWE of how much love I feel in Jesus name amen

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