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Summary: Have you ever doubted God? John asked Jesus if he was the Messiah or should he look for another.

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Doubting John

Matthew 11:1-6

1. Have you ever doubted God

2. I think most every child of God goes through momentary lapses of faith. From time to time we all doubt. When we do, we usually feel incredibly guilty. We wonder what our Father must think of us. I want you to jot down an important truth: If God is not larger than our doubts, He is not large enough to be our God.

3. Lazarus died, Mary & Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died." This statement reveals both their doubts about Jesus' love and His ability to raise their brother from the dead. "Jesus wept." I think part of the reason for His grief was for the doubts of His dear friends.

4. When Thomas heard that Jesus had risen from the dead, He said, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe" (Jn.20:25). Later, when Jesus appeared before him, the Lord said, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have elieved. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (v. 29).

5. On another occasion, Jesus said to the Father of a demon-possessed child, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes" (Mk.9:23). In helpless confusion, the father cried, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" (v. 24).

6. In this text, another extremely godly man betrays his doubts concerning Jesus.

I. John's Doubtful Question (vv. 1-3). Matt. 1:1-3, When Jesus had finished giving these instructions to his twelve disciples, he went off teaching and preaching in towns throughout the country. 2 John the Baptist, who was now in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, 3 “Are you really the Messiah we’ve been waiting for, or should we keep looking for someone else?”

A. The Importance of John the Baptist.

1. John was a mighty man of God, the forerunner of Jesus, the herald of the King. Physically, he was Jesus' cousin. Lk.1:15 says he was "filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb."

2. Preaching in the wilderness outside Jerusalem, he had prepared the way for Jesus' ministry. He announced Jesus as "The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (Jn.1:29).

3. In John 3:30, the baptizer said to his disciples, "He must increase, but I must decrease." He said of Jesus in Lk.3:16, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose."

4. When Jesus came to be baptized by John, the Bible says in Mat.3:14 that John "tried to prevent Him" and said, "I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?"

5. At that baptism, John saw the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus and heard a voice from heaven saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Mat.3:17).

6. Later in our text chapter, Jesus said of John, "Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist" (v. 11).

C. The confusion of John the Baptist (v. 2).

1. From vv. 2-3, we realize that John the Baptist had developed some considerable doubt concerning Jesus. He questions Jesus' identity when he asks, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?"

2. John's question might be better described as confusion rather than doubt. He was looking for some assurance

3. We know that John was "in prison." History tells us that John was imprisoned for offending the governor of Galilee, Herod Anipas.

4. We know that He had not personally heard Jesus speak or seen His miraculous power. He had only heard "about the works of Christ."

5. From this verse, we can assume while in prison he only had limited access to some "of his disciples."

6. In these conditions, we can begin to grasp some of the reasons for John's doubts and confusion.

D. The Question of John the Baptist (v. 3).

1. According to Lk.7:19, John called "two of his disciples" to him and "sent" them to Jesus to ask this question, "Are You the Coming One or do we look for another?."

2. The title "Coming One" was a common name for the Messiah alluded to in many OT passages

3. In his doubt and depression in prison, John wanted to be absolutely sure that Jesus was who he claimed to be.

II. Reasons for John's Doubtful Question (v. 2).

A. We doubt because of Difficult Circumstances.

1. John was facing difficult circumstances would be an understatement. His ministry and career had fallen apart.

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