February 12, 2024

Matthew 11:1-15 (HCSB)
In Praise of John the Baptist

11 When Jesus had finished giving orders to His 12 disciples, He moved on from there to teach and preach in their towns.  2 When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent a message by his disciples  3 and asked Him, “Are You the One who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” 4 Jesus replied to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: 5 the blind see, the lame walk, those with skin diseases are healed,  the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news.  6 And if anyone is not offended because of Me, he is blessed.” 7 As these men went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swaying in the wind?  8 What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothes? Look, those who wear soft clothes are in kings’ palaces. 9 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and far more than a prophet.  10 This is the one it is written about: Look, I am sending My messenger ahead of You; he will prepare Your way before You.  11 “I assure you: Among those born of women no one greater than John the Baptist has appeared,  but the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been suffering violence,  and the violent have been seizing it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John; 14 if you’re willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who is to come.  15 Anyone who has ears  should listen!

Pastor HD Jones
Doubt is a terrible thing and our faith should keep us from doubting BUT then we doubt.  Have you ever had doubts?  Maybe even wondered if you were saved?  This passage of scripture helps me with my doubts.  Here is John the Baptist, the Elijah who was to come before the Messiah, the voice in the wilderness, the guy who exclaimed “behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world”.  Yet here is John in jail, on death row, and he wonders is Jesus really the Messiah.
Wow! John the Baptist had doubts, fears, concerns?  Even a strong man will struggle when the circumstances are more than he can handle.  John just needed a little encouragement.  He needed to be reminded about the Messiah and Jesus was willing to send that message.  Jesus didn’t fuss at John or make fun of John.  Jesus just defused the doubt.  What are you struggling with today?  Maybe you’re unsure of God’s love for you or maybe you think He has forgotten about you.  John went straight to the source of all hope and that is what you need to do as well.

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