Monday, July 25, 2011

Jesus' Answer to John

Jesus answered John from the prophetic book of Isaiah,
"Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them." (Matthew 11:4-5)
that’s the text John the Baptist most often preached from. Sinners must be restored first before God will come to rule the earth in righteousness. Jesus was about the business of bringing restoration

Jesus was not condescending, not judgmental, not impatient. Instead He spoke gently and clearly to John’s disciples, teaching from the very same scriptures that John knew best, and understood.

Jesus did not condemn John, who, after all, of all people, had the very best reasons not to doubt. And Jesus does not condemn you or me, either, when we doubt, so long as we come to Him with our questions and listen to His answers.
Doubt is a mind game, and the antidote for doubt is truth.
Jesus was telling John “I’m working My plan, just trust Me,” then He gave a gentle warning,
"And blessed is the one who is not offended by me." (Matthew 11:6)
An encounter with Jesus always demands a response. John’s response must have been a continuing response of faith. We know he stood firm for the truth to the end.

Jesus gave John more than he asked or imagined in commending his ministry and his faith: John was truly a prophet in every sense of the word – he was strong, powerful, fearless, unswerving, uncompromising. He even looked like a prophet.

Jesus said,
"This is he of whom it is written,

'Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way before you.'

"Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist." (Matthew 11:10-11)
Not only was John filling the characterization of a prophet, he gave the message of a prophet, he was the very one Malachi had prophesied would come right before the Messiah.

--> He was the greatest among prophets in that he had the greatest role, he had the privilege of announcing Jesus the Messiah.

But as great as John the Baptist was, he would not live to see, and understand, the rest of the gospel unfold.

Those who have been born again, after the cross, are greater than John the Baptist because you and I, and all those who follow Christ, have the full gospel, the whole story, and we have the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. We may not have greater character than John, but we do have the understanding and ability to bring the full good news to others.

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