John the Baptist Pt-5, Offer of the kingdom and the Herodian rejection

Matthew 10:1-15

Let us think back over the ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus and their foundational message from the early chapters of Matthew: To Israel they both cried out, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” John as the forerunner, and Jesus as the proffered kingdom in his own person. The message to Israel: The time is fulfilled, get yourselves ready individually and as a nation from top to bottom! Receive the promised and massively prophesied OT kingdom of heaven come to earth to extend its glorious rule here, by receiving her king! Matthew 10 is where the pressure of the coming kingdom centered in Israel reaches its flood peak. I recommend to you to read the whole chapter in that light.

But in Ch 11 we see the start of what turns out to be a tragic reversal. First, we see there the prophet John the Baptist in prison for his preaching to the rulers of Israel of the standards of the kingdom. This is the first great signpost of trouble as it indicates official governmental rejection by Israel of her king and kingdom by the jailing of the kingdom’s formal ambassador, John. We find out the details of this in ch 14, which we’ll examine in a bit. But look at the present signs of the OT promised kingdom in Ch 10:1,7-8 and then 11:2-4. Then see 11:11-15.

From 11:20 on we see the populations of the cities the disciples had been sent to rejecting the miracles of the kingdom and therefore the king and his kingdom proffered. A terrible tragedy and turn of history! But there is something more to see in Matthew, and that is the record of governmental and national rejection of God’s man on earth, God’s Messiah/king and therefore the earthly kingdom. And it is necessary to understand Matthew’s point in how and where he records this rejection.

Today I want to focus our attention on the family of Herod and the Herodian dynasty’s opposition as Israel’s governing rules to the rule of the kingdom of heaven come to Israel and hatred for that kingdom’s ambassador.