The Dynamic Balance: Matthew 11:1
“When Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their cities.” Matthew‬ ‭11‬:‭1‬
Studying the Bible is like digging for gold, if you move to quickly you can miss some amazing nuggets. Such is the case with this verse. Two important insights are gained from this verse.
First, Jesus balanced two activities in His ministry. He divided His time between teaching His followers and reaching new people.
Churches stagnate and become introverted when they hide behind their walls and focus only on their own small group. Jesus practiced both “in reach” and “out reach.” He worked constantly on both fronts. Balancing these two activities is the key to a dynamic ministry.
Do not brush over the significance of this point. Herein is a key component to the success and failure of many ministries. Camp out on this verse until you build this balance into your life and ministry.
But second, notice how the verse ends; “He departed from there to preach and teach in their cities.” I may be reading a bit into this, but it seems the wording “in their cities” may be significant. Jesus followed the momentum. He went to spots people came from. They represented open doors and warm contacts.
By this point, He was getting numerous invitations to go and preach. He was sowing the seeds of the gospel very broadly. He was saturating broad regions with His message. He was the headline story. He was in every conversation. Something unusual and profound was happening.
So why does Matthew 11:1 intrigue me? I have been a life long student of the phenomenon we sometimes call revival and awakening. Though some elements like prayer are missing in this narrow verse, we do see definite signs that the winds of revival were beginning to blow.
How far were they blowing? Well, the next verse says that John in prison heard of the works of Christ! If I have my geography correct, Jesus was still ministering in Galilee and Decapolis, but John was in prison in Jerusalem. Word of mouth was quickly traveling over 100 miles.
When God does something fresh and powerful, news begins to spread. Jesus was quickly ascending to the pinnacle of His public ministry. The seeds He was sowing were about to change the course of human history.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global