The Forgotten Beatitude

Bible Book: Matthew  11 : 6
Subject: Faith; Commitment; Testimony

Dr. Vance Havner (1901-1986) explains, “We are familiar with the beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount. We are also acquainted with other beatitudes of our Lord, such as ‘Blessed is that servant whom his Lord when he comes shall find so doing’; ‘Blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it.’

  But here is a little beatitude, short and sandwiched between longer verses, so that we are in danger of passing it up altogether. . . .’”1 Matthew 11:6 reads, “And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” Dr. Havner further explains, “It is nothing new to be offended in Jesus. More people have been offended in Him than in any character in history. Away with this milk-and-water preaching about Jesus! He has caused more offense than any other person who ever lived. He is either a sanctuary or a stumbling stone (Isaiah 8:14). He was an offense to His own nation and still is (Romans 9:33). He offended the Pharisees (Matthew 15:12). He offended the people of His own home town (Matthew 13:54-58). He offended superficial disciples (John 6). His cross is an offense (1 Cor. 1:23). And even true disciples may be offended in Him (Matthew 26:31-35).”2

Note three things from the context of the forgotten beatitude.

I. First, note the Lord’s declaration.

A. The Lord’s declaration of personal assurance to John the Baptist.

Matthew 11:1-6 reads, “Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities. And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.’” Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe comments, “John the Baptist was in prison in the fortress of Machaerus because he had courageously denounced the adulterous marriage of Herod Antipas and Herodias (Luke 3:19-20). It seems that the Jewish leaders would have opposed Herod and sought to free John, but they did nothing. Their attitude toward John reflected their feeling toward Jesus, for John had pointed to Jesus and honored Him.”3 Dr. Carl F.H. Henry (1913-2003) explains, “[Jesus] is the Messiah; but He has not appeared to fulfil the role commonly expected of the Messiah. His ministry is one of healing and saving power rather than that of bringing the final judgment and establishing the Kingdom in glory upon the earth. This is the messianic secret.”4 Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) warns, “We are all apt to interpret Jesus from our own standpoint, we get too familiar with Him, and a moral surgery of events is necessary before we can understand His standpoint. We get a glimpse of what Jesus is after, and His attitude makes it look as if He were absolutely insensitive to our aims; or else He has a point of view of which we know nothing and the sense of detachment continually comes. Jesus is treating us as He treated Martha and Mary—because He loved them He stayed two days where He was, and did not come in answer to their prayer. Jesus Christ can afford to be misunderstood; we cannot. Our weakness lies in always wanting to vindicate ourselves.”5 Rev. Manley Beasley (1932-1990) explains, “One reason for testings is what they will do in and for us personally, as God uses them to expose our own wickedness and to correct us. Another reason for testings is for what they will do in the lives of others as they watch and learn from what God is allowing in our own lives.”6

The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:10-12, “But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” He also writes in Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

The Apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter 4:12-13, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”

B. The Lord’s declaration of public affirmation of John the Baptist.

Matthew 11:7-15 reads, “As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.’ ‘Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” The Lord’s evaluation of our life and ministry is ultimately the most important. 1 Corinthians 4:1-5 reads, “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.” 2 Corinthians 5:9-11 reads, “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.” We can learn how our Lord evaluates His servants from Matthew 25:23, “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’”

II. Second, note the Lord’s denunciation.

A. The Lord’s denunciation of the unappreciative.

Matthew 11:16-19 reads, “But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, and saying: ‘We played the flute for you, And you did not dance; We mourned to you, And you did not lament.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.” Dr. Lawrence O. Richards comments, “Like children" (11:17). Jesus describes two games commonly played by children in the streets: wedding and funeral. He speaks ironically. No matter how God invites His people to respond, they pout and mutter, ‘I don't wanna' play.’ They didn't like John—he was too strict—and they didn't like Jesus—He's too friendly with sinners. How foolish to ignore a message from God—and then blame the messenger!”7

B. The Lord’s denunciation of the unrepentant.

Matthew 11:20-24 reads, “Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: ‘Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.’” Luke 12:35-48 reads, “‘Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’ Then Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?’ And the Lord said, ‘Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” Accountability is greater for some than for others.

III. Third, note the Lord’s dedication.

A. The Lord’s dedication to His Father.

Matthew 11:25-27 reads, “At that time Jesus answered and said, ‘I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.’” It is beneficial to trace Jesus’ dedication to His Father. Luke 2:41-50 reads, “His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, ‘Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.’ And He said to them, ‘Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?’ But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.” John 5:16-23 reads, “For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.’ Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. Then Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”

Dr. Carl F.H. Henry explains, “While this generation has rejected the Messiah, some have responded to His message (11:25-30). The ‘wise and understanding,’ that is, the religious leaders and doctors of the law in Judaism, had refused to receive the new revelation in Christ, but those who are called ‘babes’ by Jesus, the humble and the meek of the land, have responded to divine revelation. Jesus then asserts that He and He alone is the revealer of God. The Father and the Son share a direct unmediated, intuitive mutual knowledge; the Son knows the Father in the same way that the Father knows the Son. However, other men may enter in to a knowledge of God only as it is mediated through Jesus. Here is a claim to a unique knowledge of God which sets Jesus apart from all other men. He is indeed not only a man; he is ‘the Son’ and possesses a knowledge of the Father which only deity itself could possess. The mediated knowledge of God is available for all who labor and are heavy laden. They are invited to come to Jesus and find rest by taking His yoke upon them in exchange for the heavy yoke of the traditions of the scribal teachings.”8

B. The Lord’s dedication to His followers.

Matthew 11:28-30 reads, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

The Lord invites unbelievers to salvation. Matthew 11:28-29 reads, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

The Lord instructs believers to serve. Matthew 11:30 reads, “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”


Dr. Vance Havner explains, “Anybody can believe during fair weather. There is a deeper experience and a higher state which not many reach, a state in which, no matter what happens, we are never offended in the Lord, a state in which, whether it makes sense to us or not, we still believe Romans 8:28.”9 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Psalm 119:165 reads, “Great peace have those who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble.” Remember in Matthew 11:6 Jesus said, “And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

The next time you find yourself in the midst of depression, doubt, or distress, due to God’s seeming inactivity, remember the forgotten beatitude.


1Vance Havner, Jesus Only [“The Forgotten Beatitude” (Matthew 11:6)] (Old Tappan, NJ: 1946), 29-33.  


3Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary – New Testament, Volume 1, (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2001), 40.

4Carl F.H. Henry, The Biblical Expositor – Volume 3: Matthew-Revelation: The Living Theme of the Great Book (A. J. Holman Company, 1960), 38.

5Oswald Chambers, The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers, “The Place of Help,” [“The Sense of Awe” YMCA Hut, September 9,1917] (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers affiliated with RBC Ministries, 2000), 1051. Accessed: 11/27/17 .

6Ron Owens, Manley Beasley: Man of Faith: Instrument of Revival (Collierville, TN: Innovo Publishing LLC, 2016), 151.

7Lawrence O. Richards, Bible Reader's Companion, (Cook Communications Ministry, 1991), Database © 2007 WORDsearch Corp.

8Henry, Expositor, 38. 

9Havner, Jesus, 29-33.


Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527

Author of Don’t Miss the Revival! Messages for Revival and Spiritual Awakening from Isaiah and

Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice [Both available on in hardcover, paperback and eBook] & /   / (251) 626-6210

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