The Messiah has been manifested. His words and works have testified to His identity and trustworthiness. He has just finished preparing His Twelve for a mission that will be met with horrific rejection. But this only hints at what Jesus Himself will experience. Jesus as “the Christ” is beginning to look like a scandal. Few will understand. Few will perceive. So the text directs us to a remarkable illustration that demonstrates exactly what Jesus has just taught. It is all very tragic. This message marks the beginning of a new section in Matthew that highlights Israel’s unbelief. With rich irony, it begins with Israel’s greatest prophet, John the Baptist. It is an episode that is sovereignly used to interpret what otherwise appears as a scandalous surprise.