Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

Commentary Excerpt by Tom Boomershine

The structure of this section of Matthew is first the parable of the children, then the prayer of thanks to God, and then the address to the audience as those who have heavy burdens and are weary.

The dynamics of this are first the playful intro, which involves the listeners and gets them to identify with the children in the marketplace. You can look at them and imagine children sitting in the marketplace and taunting each other, in this case accusing each other of playing and the other not dancing and wailing but mourning. Jesus then uses this metaphor in describing the critics’ response to John the Baptist and to him. They are very different, but the critics are finding ways to criticize both of them in some way. I think the playfulness extends to these critiques to not take them too seriously.

Jesus' prayer is a real prayer between him and God. It is about the way in which God has revealed the kingdom of God to little ones, to those who are not necessarily wise and successful in the eyes of the world. The sign of this in relation to the logic of these sayings is then that all things have been handed over to the son. That is just a sign that wisdom had been vindicated and that these things have also been revealed to infants, to those who were not respected in the eyes of the world. Jesus knows the Father and the Father in turn knows him.

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