Matthew 11These little ones; these my disciples, men of humble station, not great in the estimation of the world. Any act of kindness towards them, as disciples, however small the benefit, shows a spirit of love to Christ, and shall not lose its reward.
In the prison. The circumstances of John's imprisonment are stated Matt. 14:3, 4.
He that should come; the promised Messiah.
Be offended in me;—distrust or reject me,—intimating, apparently, that John was in danger of doing this. John had believed himself the forerunner of a mighty prince and Savior. But his career, which had commenced so auspiciously, had been suddenly brought to a close: his followers were scattered, he was suffering himself a wearisome and hopeless confinement, and the personage on whom his hopes had been resting, was apparently taking no steps tending to the open establishment of his reign. It was not surprising, therefore, that the faith of his disciples, and perhaps even his own, began to falter, and to gave place to feelings of despondency and mistrust.
A reed, &c., representing a man of light and fickle mind.
A man clothed, &c.; a man of feeble and effeminate character, unable to bear trials and hardships.
The meaning is, that, from the commencement of the preaching of John the Baptist, until the present time, great multitudes had come with the utmost zeal and ardor, desiring to be received into the kingdom of the Messiah.
These verses perhaps contain the most direct intimation that Jesus was himself the Messiah which he had yet made. He always spoke of this subject with great reserve and caution.—That Elias which was for to come; that is, not Elijah himself in person, (John 1:21,) but the forerunner of Christ, who was designated by that name. (Luke 1:17.)
The sentiment is, that the people of that generation were like wayward children, whom nothing would please. They were alike dissatisfied with the austere virtues and stern demeanor of John the Baptist, and with the mild and gentle character of the Savior.—Neither eating nor drinking; that is, practising rigid fasts and self-mortification.—Wisdom is justified, &c.; the truly wise would appreciate the wisdom of the course pursued both by John and by the Savior.
Exalted unto heaven. Capernaum had been, more than any other city, the Savior's place of residence, and the scene of his instructions and miracles.
Babes; persons of humble character and station.
Take my yoke upon you; submit to my authority. He speaks not as their Teacher merely, but as their Master and Lord.
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