|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:7-15 What Christ said concerning John, was not only for his praise, but for the people's profit. Those who attend on the word will be called to give an account of their improvements. Do we think when the sermon is done, the care is over? No, then the greatest of the care begins. John was a self-denying man, dead to all the pomps of the world and the pleasures of sense. It becomes people, in all their appearances, to be consistent with their character and their situation. John was a great and good man, yet not perfect; therefore he came short of glorified saints. The least in heaven knows more, loves more, and does more in praising God, and receives more from him, than the greatest in this world. But by the kingdom of heaven here, is rather to be understood the kingdom of grace, the gospel dispensation in its power and purity. What reason we have to be thankful that our lot is cast in the days of the kingdom of heaven, under such advantages of light and love! Multitudes were wrought upon by the ministry of John, and became his disciples. And those strove for a place in this kingdom, that one would think had no right nor title to it, and so seemed to be intruders. It shows us what fervency and zeal are required of all. Self must be denied; the bent, the frame and temper of the mind must be altered. Those who will have an interest in the great salvation, will have it upon any terms, and not think them hard, nor quit their hold without a blessing. The things of God are of great and common concern. God requires no more from us than the right use of the faculties he has given us. People are ignorant, because they will not learn.
Verse 13. - For. It is only right that there should be such a seizing of the kingdom of heaven, for in a certain sense the function of the prophets and the Law ceased with John. All. Not one alone, but all, however various their teaching. The prophets and the law. In Luke (Luke 16:16) the Law is mentioned first, because the context is there dealing chiefly with the Law. Here our Lord has said that John was more than a prophet, and he naturally continues to speak of prophets first. The mention of the Law comes in almost as an afterthought, and yet without it the Jews might have fallen back on the Law when the prophets failed them (cf. ver. 11, note). Prophesied. Including the ideas both of predicting Messiah and of making known the will of God (cf. Matthew 5:19, note). Until John. The message of the written Word was considered as active - the prophets and the Law still spoke - until, in tact, he came who was the close of that epoch.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. These words are to be considered in connection with Matthew 11:11 and are a further proof of John's being greater than any of the prophets; because all the inspired writers and prophets, who were before him, prophesied of the Messiah as to come; and either spoke of him in obscure terms, or represented him under dark shadows and figures: whereas John spake of him as already come, and in plain terms, and directed to his very person; and since his time, there have been no prophecies concerning the Messiah and his kingdom; vision and prophecy are now sealed up; all which are acknowledged by the Jews themselves, who (b) say, , "all the prophets did not prophesy but to, or of the days of the Messiah". This was the subject, and these the limits of their prophecies; for they own (c), that
"from the day that the temple was destroyed, , "prophecy was taken away from the prophets".''
Since that time, they confess they have had no prophet (d), and that they are not able to observe their signs.
(b) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 34. 2. Sabbat, fol. 63. 1. Sanhedrim, fol. 99. 1.((c) T. Bava Bathra, fol. 12. 1.((d) Abarbinel in Dan. fol. 63. 4.
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