Living the Christian life requires knowing the word of God well. In two encounters with some Bible experts, Jesus teaches us that there is something more to knowing God's word than just mastering the details of the words in the Bible. In the course of these encounters, Matthew shows us that Jesus is the One who has come to establish justice on the earth. His way is not through coercive force, but through the gentle and beautiful heart of God.
Jesus's invitation to discipleship is to let him rule our lives as our Lord and Teacher. He promises that if we do, he will save us. Further, the lessons he teaches, the way he guides us to live in righteousness brings rest to our souls rather than weariness.
When Jesus tells the crowds that John the Baptist is "the Elijah" prophesied by Malachi, he was not repairing a prisoner's reputation. Jesus sounded the trumpet call of his gospel message, "The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe the good news." Malachi's prophecy of "Elijah" coming to announce the arrival of the Christ is the tell-tale sign that God is about to bring the fire of judgment against all enemies of his kingdom. For the moment, there is opportunity to join God's side by being joined to Christ Jesus. No one knows how long that moment of opportunity will last.