Matthew 11:1
And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed there to teach and to preach in their cities.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
XI.

(1) He departed thence—i.e., from the place from which He had sent forth the Twelve. Where this was St. Matthew does not tell us, but Matthew 9:36 makes it probable that it was not in Capernaum nor any other city, but from some spot in the open country where He had rested with them. Their return is narrated, or at least implied, in Matthew 11:25, and hence we must infer that the messengers of the Baptist arrived while He was carrying on His work without them. Their cities might seem grammatically to point to the towns where the Twelve had been, or to which they belonged; but it is probable that it was used here vaguely for the cities of Galilee in general.

Matthew 11:1. When Jesus had made an end of commanding, that is, of giving instruction to his twelve disciples, and thereby of preparing them for the service they were now to undertake, he departed to teach and preach in their cities — The other cities of Israel, being unwearied and constant in his great work.11:1 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.And it came to pass ... - The directions to the apostles were given in the vicinity of Capernaum. The Saviour went from thence to preach in their cities; that is, in the cities in the vicinity of Capernaum, or in Galilee. He did not yet go into Judea. CHAPTER 11

Mt 11:1-19. The Imprisoned Baptist's Message to His Master—The Reply, and Discourse, on the Departure of the Messengers, Regarding John and His Mission. ( = Lu 7:18-35).

1. And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciple—rather, "the twelve disciples,"

he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities—This was scarcely a fourth circuit—if we may judge from the less formal way in which it was expressed—but, perhaps, a set of visits paid to certain places, either not reached at all before, or too rapidly passed through, in order to fill up the time till the return of the Twelve. As to their labors, nothing is said of them by our Evangelist. But Luke (Lu 9:6) says, "They departed, and went through, the towns," or "villages," "preaching the Gospel, and healing everywhere." Mark (Mr 6:12, 13), as usual, is more explicit: "And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils (demons) and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them." Though this "anointing with oil" was not mentioned in our Lord's instructions—at least in any of the records of them—we know it to have been practiced long after this in the apostolic Church (see Jas 5:14, and compare Mr 6:12, 13)—not medicinally, but as a sign of the healing virtue which was communicated by their hands, and a symbol of something still more precious. It was unction, indeed, but, as Bengel remarks, it was something very different from what Romanists call extreme unction. He adds, what is very probable, that they do not appear to have carried the oil about with them, but, as the Jews used oil as a medicine, to have employed it just as they found it with the sick, in their own higher way.Matthew 11:2-6 John sendeth his disciples to Christ.

Matthew 11:7-15 Christ’s testimony concerning John.

Matthew 11:16-19 The perverse judgments of the people concerning both

John and Christ.

Matthew 11:20-24 Christ upbraideth the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida,

and Capernaum with their long unfruitfulness and

impenitency.

Matthew 11:25-27 He thanks the Father for revealing his gospel to the

simple only,

Matthew 11:28-30 and invites the weary to partake of his rest.

We never find our Saviour idle, but continually going up and down doing good, and we find him most intent upon preaching and teaching, which doubtless is the great work of the ministers of the gospel; of what quality soever they be, they call pretend to no higher than Christ’s. Nor did our Saviour think it enough to send others in his stead, as his curates, he went himself. Luke notes, Luke 10:1, that he sent the seventy, two by two, into every city whither himself was to follow; so as it seems he did not judge it enough that one proclamation of the gospel should be made to them. For those that think there is a distinction to be made between preaching and teaching, khrussein and didaskein, they may learn from this text, that they are both the work of Christ’s ministers, if they be bound to take example from their Master, and not think the servant is above his Lord. Those that under value preaching, as the least part of the ministerial work, do both forget this text, and what Paul said, that Christ sent him not to baptize, but to preach the gospel; that is, not so much to baptize as to preach. If any think that people are now so instructed that there is no such need of preaching, they should do well to question their people a little, and they may discover their own great mistakes. Besides that experience teacheth us, that those who are best instructed are most desirous of that which deserveth the name of preaching; which lets us know that there is yet something further to be known, or that we had need have our remembrance stirred up, or at least our affections quickened.

And it came to pass,.... In the course of things, and as before determined and resolved on, that

when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples; when he had given them a commission to preach the Gospel, had finished all his instructions he thought fit to give them, and orders he enjoined them, relating to that work; as where they should go, what they should say, how they should behave, and what treatment they should meet with; and had given them all proper advice and encouragement,

he departed thence, from the place where he then was: he did not desist either from the ministry of the word, or from working of miracles, but went out into other parts of the country,

to teach and to preach in their cities: meaning either in the cities of the Jews, or in the cities of his disciples; and these, either the cities they belonged to, from whence they came, namely, the cities of Galilee; for the disciples were Galilaeans, and in which parts Christ now was; or else the cities where he sent them to preach first, and then came himself, and confirmed their doctrine by his own ministry and miracles.

And {1} it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of {a} commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in {b} their cities.

(1) Christ shows by his works that he is the promised Messiah.

(a) Of instructing them with precepts.

(b) The disciples' cities, that is to say, in Galilee, where many of them were born; Ac 2:7.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 11:1. Ἐκεῖθεν] from where the sending out of the apostles took place. It is impossible to define the locality further; at all events Capernaum is not intended, but some open space (Matthew 9:36) on the road, along which Jesus was at that time prosecuting His journey through Galilee (Matthew 9:35). Whilst the Twelve were out on their missionary tour, Jesus continued His labours by Himself; and it was during this interval also that He was visited by the messengers from the Baptist. Where these latter happened to find Him, it is impossible to say. For the return of the Twelve, see note on Matthew 11:25.

αὐτῶν] in the towns of those to whom He came (the Galileans). Comp. Matthew 4:23, Matthew 9:35, Matthew 12:9. Fritzsche refers αὐτῶν to the apostles: in which the apostles had already published the knowledge of the kingdom. Incorrectly, for the μετέβη, κ.τ.λ., follows at once and immediately upon the conclusion of the instructions to the Twelve.

On the following section, see Wieseler in the Göttingen Vierteljahrschr. 1845, p. 197 ff.; Gams, Joh. d. T. im Gefängn. 1853; Gademann, in d. Luth. Zeitschr. 1852, 4; Grote, ibid. 1857, 3, p. 518 ff. Comp. also Erlang. Zeitschr. 1857, p. 167 ff.; Keim, II. p. 355 ff.Matthew 11:1. ὅτε ἐτέλεσεν διατάσσων. The participle here with a verb signifying to cease as often with verbs signifying to begin, continue, persevere, etc., vide Goodwin, § 879. ἐκεῖθεν, from that place, the place where the mission was given to the Twelve. Where that was we do not know; probably in some place of retirement (dans la retraite, Lutteroth).—πόλεσιν αὐτῶν: the pronoun does not refer to the disciples (μαθηταῖς) as Fritzsche thinks, but to the people of Galilee. While He sent out the Twelve to preach, He continued preaching Himself, only avoiding the places they visited, “giving room to them and time to do their work, for, with Him present and healing, no one would have cared to go near them,” Chrysos., Hom. 36.Matthew 11:1. Ἐτέλεσεν, concluded) Our Lord did nothing abruptly. See Gnomon on ch. Matthew 26:1; and Luke 7:1.—κηρύσσειν, to preach) sc. everywhere. Cf. John 3:2, etc.[507]—αὐτῶν, of them) the Israelites [the people, namely, who were deserving of His ‘compassion,’ ch. Matthew 9:36.—V. g.]

[507] The verb διδάσκειν implies private instruction, as κηρύσσειν implies public instruction.—V. g.Verse 1. - Matthew only. And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end. The same formula recurs in Matthew 7:28; Matthew 13:53; Matthew 19:1; Matthew 26:1. In all five cases it marks the end of important speeches.

(1) The sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7:27);

(2) the charge to the disciples (Matthew 10:5-42);

(3) the parables (Matthew 13:1-52);

(4) discourses to the disciples (Matthew 18.);

(5) prophecies about the end of the world, etc. (Matthew 24, 25.). (Cf. Introduction, p. 3 ). for the bearing that this has upon the sources of the Gospel.) Of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence. Whence? We have no knowledge. Perhaps the place had been named in the original context, from which the discourse was derived. Ch. 9:35 suggests that it was some place on his journey (cf. Alford), but our verse in itself implies rather some fixed centre of work, e.g. Capernaum. To teach and to preach in their cities. If he ceases to speak at length, it is that he may begin more aggressive work (cf. Matthew 7:28, 29; Matthew 13:53, 54). Their. It is hardly by accident that the word recurs, with the same reference, as it seems, to the Jews generally, in the passages just quoted (cf. Matthew 12:9, note). Commanding (διατάσσων)

The preposition διά has a distributive force: giving to each his appropriate charge.

Their cities (αὐτῶν)

The towns of those to whom he came - the Galilaeans. Compare Matthew 4:23.

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