Matthew 11:6
And blessed is he, whoever shall not be offended in me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) Blessed is he.—The words at once confirm the view that the question which the messengers had brought came from the Baptist himself, and show how tenderly our Lord dealt with the impatience which it implied. A warning was needed, but it was given in the form of a beatitude which it was still open to him to claim and make his own. Not to find a stumbling-block in the manner in which the Christ had actually come, that was the condition of entering fully into the blessedness of His kingdom.

11:2-6 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.And blessed is he ... - The word "offence" means a "stumbling-block." See the notes at Matthew 5:29. This verse might be rendered, "Happy is he to whom I shall not prove a stumbling-block." That is, happy is he who shall not take offence at my poverty and lowliness of life, so as to reject me and my doctrine. Happy is the one who can, notwithstanding that poverty and obscurity, see the evidence that I am the Messiah, and follow me. It is not improbable that John wished Jesus publicly to proclaim himself as the Christ, instead of seeking retirement. Jesus replied that he gave sufficient evidence of that by his works; that a man might discover it if he chose; and that he was blessed or happy who should appreciate that evidence and embrace him as the Christ, in spite of his humble manner of life. 2. Now when John had heard in the prison—For the account of this imprisonment, see on [1261]Mr 6:17-20.

the works of Christ, he sent, &c.—On the whole passage, see on [1262]Lu 7:18-35.

Ver. 4-6. We must imagine these disciples of John to have stayed with Christ some time, and to have seen him work some of these miracles, and to have heard him preach, and seen the great success of his ministry, and then to have left him with this answer. Luke therefore addeth, Luke 7:21, And in the same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight. Then he repeateth the answer which we have here, in which our Saviour refereth unto his works as sufficiently testifying of him, John 5:36,37 10:25,37,38. We read not that these disciples saw any dead person raised while they were with Christ, but it appeareth from Luke 7:18, &c. that the report of such a miracle was the occasion of their coming to Christ.

The question is, how the sight of these things done by our Saviour could be a sufficient argument to confirm to them that he was the Messias, especially considering that his apostles did the same things?

Answer: First, it was prophesied by Isaiah, Isaiah 35:4-6, that when God should come to save them, the eyes of the blind should be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: and Isaiah 61:1, that the Messiah should preach good tidings to the meek, that is, the poor, Luke 4:18, which Christ, Luke 4:21, applied to himself. So that the fulfilling of these promises argued that the Messias was come, and no other was to be looked for, whether these things were done by him or by his disciples.

Secondly, the disciples as yet had done no such things, so as his doing of them plainly evidenced his Divine power; the others did them but as his disciples, by his power and authority.

Thirdly, it is more than probable, that when the disciples did them, they used some such form as Peter used, Acts 3:6, In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. We find Peter, Acts 3:12, very wary that the people should not mistake in thinking they did it by their own power or holiness.

And the poor have the gospel preached unto them. Gr. ptwcoi euaggelizontai, which may be translated, the poor preach the gospel, in an active sense, as the word is used Luke 2:10; or, the poor are gospelized, taking the word in a passive sense, as Hebrews 4:2 1 Peter 1:25 4:6. In the passive sense it may be understood either of a more external reception of the gospel upon preaching, or of a more internal reception of the gospel by faith. In all senses it was true of the times of the Messiah,

1. The poor preached the gospel; nor was this a mean evidence that the Messiah was come, to see a few poor fishermen at his call leaving their nets and their friends, and following one calling them to preach a new doctrine to the new world.

2. The poor had the gospel preached to them; nor was this a less evidence of Christ to be the Messiah, considering the prophecy, Isaiah 61:1, and the contempt of the poor amongst the Jews, John 7:49.

But that the poor, who commonly are the more ignorant and rude sort of people, should vouchsafe to hear the gospel, and be turned into the likeness of the gospel upon Christ’s preaching to them, this was yet a higher evidence. Many by poor understand the poor in spirit. The binding up of broken hearts, and bringing glad tidings to souls sadden on spiritual accounts is a great effect of the Divine power. It followeth, And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. It is not improbable that our Saviour here reflects on the disciples of John, who out of a great honour for their master took many occasions to be offended at Christ. One while because he and his disciples did not first so often as they and the Pharisees, as Matthew 9:14; another while because so many followed him, John 3:26. But the words spoken have a further reference than to John’s disciples. The Lord Jesus and his doctrine are to many a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence, according to the prophecy, Isaiah 8:14 Isaiah 28:16 Luke 2:34 Romans 9:33 1 Corinthians 1:23 1 Peter 2:6. The Jews stumbled at the meanness of his person and parentage, and the meanness of his followers. The Gentiles, not at these things only, but his ignominious death. At this day many stumble at the sublimeness and strictness of his doctrine, &c. Christ speaks here with reference to all, and pronounces that man a blessed man, who shall so take offence at nothing, whether respecting his person, his life, or his death, his doctrine, or his followers, as to deter or discourage him from embracing him, and believing in him as the Saviour of lost sinners, that shall by faith receive him. And blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in me. The Jews were offended at Christ's parentage and birth, at the poverty of his parents, and at the manner of his birth, by a virgin; and at the place of his birth, which they thought to be Galilee; at his education, because he had not learnt letters, and was brought up to a mechanical employment; at his mean appearance in his public ministry, in his own person, and in his attendants: his company and audience being the poorer sort, the more ignorant, and who had been loose and scandalous persons, publicans and sinners; at the doctrines he preached, particularly, which respected his own deity and eternity, the distinguished grace of God, and living by faith upon his flesh and blood. The disciples of John also were offended in him, because he and his disciples did not fast, and lead such an austere life as they and their master did; because of the meanness and obscurity of Christ's kingdom; the imprisonment of John, and the many reproaches, afflictions, and persecutions, which did, and were likely to attend a profession of Christ: this our Lord knew, and had a peculiar respect to them in these words; but happy are those persons, who, notwithstanding all these difficulties and discouragements, are so far from stumbling at Christ, and falling from him, that they heartily receive him and believe in him, make a profession of him, and hold it fast; greatly love, highly value, and esteem him, and are willing to part with all, and bear all for his sake: these are blessed, notwithstanding all their sufferings for him even now; they have spiritual peace, joy, and comfort in their souls, and shall be happy in the full enjoyment of him to all eternity. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 11:6. μακάριος (vide Matthew 5:3), possessed of rare felicity. The word implies that those who, on some ground or other, did not stumble over Jesus were very few. Even John not among them! On σκανδαλίζω vide ad. Matthew 5:29. ἐν ἐμοί, in anything relating to my public ministry, as appearing inconsistent with my Messianic vocation.6. And blessed is he] Blessed are all who see that these works of mine are truly the works of the Messiah. Some had thought only of an avenging and triumphant Christ.

blessed] A term that denotes spiritual insight and advance in the true life.Matthew 11:6. Μακάριος, blessed) A rare felicity. That very circumstance, that many should be offended in Him, was foretold as a sign of the Messiah.[514] He loaded others with benefits; He Himself was weak, poor, despised.—ὃς ἐὰν, whosoever) especially of the disciples of John, who saw the difference between his mode of living and that of our Lord. See Matthew 11:18-19.

[514] Isaiah 52:14. That very fact was an argument likely to be easily appreciated, especially by the disciples of John. See Matthew 11:18, with which comp. Matthew 11:19.—V. g.Verse 6. - And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended (Matthew 5:29, note) in me; shall find none occasion of stumbling in me (Revised Version). But exhibits perfect trust under delay and disappointment (James 1:12). Be offended (σκανδαλιοθῇ)

See on Matthew 5:29. Rev., shall find none occasion of stumbling. Compare Wyc., shall not be slandered.

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