Matthew has finished relaying Jesus’s instructions to His twelve disciples on their mission to preach to the towns and villages of Israel that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
John, who has now been imprisoned sends a cryptic question to Jesus inquiring if He is the Messiah or not. Jesus responds with a clear, but coded, answer.
With John the Baptizer’s disciples leaving the scene, Jesus uses this occasion to begin a conversation about John’s role and hopes that the crowds had for this man. But as Jesus does so, He powerfully reveals His own Messianic identity for those who have ears to hear.
Jesus continues His affirmation of John the Baptizer and his role as the forerunner to the Messiah. By extension Jesus is also testifying that He is that Messiah.
Jesus demonstrates how Judea has rejected John as Elijah and Himself as the Messiah with a short parable about children playing different kinds of music for others who refuse to accept it.
Jesus rebukes the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum for their lack of repentance in light of the many miracles that He performed among them. He says that even the pagan and wicked cities of Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom would have shown more repentance.
Jesus prays to His Father in Heaven, revealing His relationship to God as His Son. And as the Son’s identity is revealed by the Father upon those whom He chooses, so is the Father known only by those the Son wills to reveal.
Jesus offers His easy and light yoke to everyone who is tired from trying to bear the heavy burdens of the religious establishment.
The Bible Says Commentary on the Book of Matthew
After Jesus sent His disciples to teach and preach, the followers of John the Baptist come to Jesus with a question from their imprisoned master. Jesus answers according to Johns’ faith, before praising John and lamenting the present generation’s lack of faith. The chapter concludes with Jesus praising His Father and sharing a glimpse into His identity as the Son before inviting all who are weary to come to Him.