Summary: Does following Jesus Christ faithfully mean we do not doubt Him, that we rarely feel the sting of disappointment?

Disappointment With Jesus

(Luke 7:1-35)


1. I have often been disappointed in the Christian life and ministry.

2. New believer: faith could move mountains, family would be saved

3. I’d live a nearly perfect life filled with joy and spiritual victories¡K

4. Ministry: I’d put the principles of the NT church to work, innovate¡K

5. The way the Christian life is often presented guarantees disappointment¡K

6. But are we disappointed because our faith if weak? Is disappointment a sign of spiritual shallowness and immaturity?

QUESTION: Does following Jesus Christ faithfully mean we do not doubt Him, that we rarely feel the sting of disappointment?

I. Our Text Provides Us With Three Interesting Case Studies That Will Get Us Thinking About This

A. The Centurion’s Servant (Luke 7:1-10, Matt. 11:2-30)

1. The Background

(1) A centurion’s servant is ill/paralyzed

(2) Centurion= Roman Soldier over 600 men¡K

(3) Servant=attachment (this guy had a heart)

2. The spiritual side to this man

(1) A God-fearing gentile---did not actually see Jesus; spoke to him through intermediates--„³ synagogue elders (variation in Gospels)

(2) He had financed a synagogue (ruins still there; ornate)

3. As Jesus approaches, sends out other: READ Luke 7:6-8

4. Jesus response

(1) I’ve not seen so much faith in all Israel¡K

(2) Many will come from the East & West and dine w/Ab./Isaac/Jacob

but sons of the kingdom will be cast into outer darkness (Matt. 11)

B. Our next case study: the widow at Nain (Luke 7:11-17)

1. Jesus and a large crowd are travelling¡X10 miles SE of Nazareth¡Xto Nain

2. They see a funeral procession¡Xespecially bitter

(1) widow is burying her only son

(2) normal grief/death---a mom or dad in 70’s dies¡K(HARD)--anticipated

(3) bitter death¡Xa child, younger adult¡K(HARD & exceptional)

3. Christ is heartbroken (His heart went out to her)

(1) have you ever thought about the frequency of God being heart-broken? Some people conceive of God as mind w/out feeling--

(2) Christ says: Don’t cry!

4. He walks up the coffin, "Young man, arise¡K"

(1) how did that mother feel?

(2) the young man himself?

(3) the crowd?

5. "A great prophet has appeared among us¡K"

6. If it were always this way, if God worked things out all the time, we would never struggle with disappointment---We’d be able to name all our girls Pollyanna! But there is a third case study:

C. John the Baptist in Prison (12-35)

1. John is sitting in prison, rotting away (will eventually be executed)

2. His Messianic expectations were accurate: just incomplete, did not understand the TWO comings (Lion and Lamb)

3. Christ is not acting much like a Lion because Rome is still ruling, people not responding to Him

4. Things were not going the John had anticipated. He began to doubt whether Jesus was really the Messiah (had to communicate in CODE because in jail)

(1) sent 2 messengers

(2) Are you he that should come, or may we expect another?

5. Consider all the evidence John had¡K

(1) knew Jesus all his life; knew about virgin birth thru Elizabeth

(2) Father revealed to him, "He upon whom the Spirit rests¡K"

(3) Pointed others to Him, "Behold the Lamb of God¡K"

6. But no matter what the LORD has done, that can seem trivial compared to what He is NOW DOING, and, as far as John was concerned, He was doing ZIP.

At least Jesus might attempt a jailbreak! Something---Anything! When John first went to jail, he probably thought it would be only for a short time¡K

7. When Christ heard these messengers from John, it must have broken His heart¡Kbut He understood¡K

(1) the Messiah was supposed to do six things

1.Restore sight; 2. Make the lame walk; 3. Cleanse those with leprosy; 4. Bring hearing to the deaf; 5. Resurrect the dead; 6. Preach the Good News to the Poor

(2) Jesus was doing all those very things¡K.

8. He adds, "Blessed is He Who does not stumble over me."

QUESTION: Does following Jesus Christ faithfully mean we do not doubt Him, that we rarely feel the sting of disappointment?

II. Even the Best of Us Can Feel Disappointment With God

1. If John the Baptist did, that great man of faith, why should we surprised ourselves when it is our turn to feel the impact of LETDOWN?

2. We try to do things God’s way, and they fail:

(1) Aldridges having to come to US for surgery

(2) Dawsons repeating the pattern¡K

3. You build a close walk with God; you are careful about choosing a partner who follows Christ, but He changes---marriage breaks up

4. You are finally expecting your first child after prayer upon prayer. Then you miscarry.

5. God has clearly led you to move to that city and take that job. You love it. Three months later you are the victim of downsizing with no family and no friends around to support you.

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