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Saturday, November 20, 2004

Advent 3 – Mt 11:2-11- Key Questions

v6 What is the significance of this statement "Blessed is he who does not fall away on account of me", to the remainder of this passage? How is the idea of connected with John, and the remaining content of this passage?

It would appear that this statement is intended for John. It is the final statement to John's disciples before they left to return with th emessage Jesus had given them. John's initial question held a level of doubt also, "Are you the one... or should we expect someone else?". Clearly Jesus is providing reassurance to John who is imprisoned and at the mercy of Herod.


The definition offers in their definition of "fall away", a fuller picture of the usage of the word.

b) to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey
.....1) to cause to fall away
.....2) to be offended in one, i.e. to see in another what I disapprove of and what hinders me from acknowledging his authority

This seems to make sense in the context of this passage. Jesus says to John, "You need to trust me."


v7-9 In the three-fold repetition of reed/man in fine clothes/prophet, what is the meaning of the reed?

I was puzzled by this reference to a reed, as I did not know what the metaphor stood for. As I read the footnotes in my study bible, It made reference to Herod Antipas putting a reed on his edition of the coin at that time. I searched and searched, and this is the best I could come up with. I am not so sure, as the 'reed' looks more like a palm branch.


Then I came across this reference...

7. What went yet out into the wilderness to see? An allusion to John's ministry in the wilderness, which had been attended by most of Christ's disciples. A reed shaken with the wind. The reed of Egypt and Palestine is a very tall cane, growing twelve feet high, and is easily bent by the wind. John was not like the reed. He could not be bent by every breath of applause or displeasure.

Could the metaphor be as straight forward as that?


The soldiers who persecuted Jesus, gave Jesus a reed to hold. Symbolically representing a rulers scepter. This article gives a good summary. If this was the allusion intended by Jesus in this section, than he essentially repeats Himself, as this would be the same as the second repetition.


1. Structural Diagram
2. Surrounding Context
3. Key Cross References
4. Key Questions
5. Thoughts and Meditation

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