Summary: Jesus answers the question of Johns disciples and responds to the crowd.
18John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19he sent them to the Lord to ask, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"
20When the men came to Jesus, they said, "John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?’"
21At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22So he replied to the messengers, "Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy£ are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. 23Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."
LAST SUNDAY, WE TALKED ABOUT JESUS RAISING THE WOMANS SON FROM THE DEAD. WORD ABOUT JESUS SPREAD THRU OUT ALL THE AREA. IT GOT TO JOHN THE BAPTIST, WHO WAS IN PRISON. YOU CAN READ OF THIS IN LUKE 3;19-20.
JOHN HAD REBUKED HEROD ANTIPAS BECAUSE OF AN IMMORAL RELATIONSHIP THAT HE WAS INVOLVED IN WITH HIS BROTHERS WIFE. AS A RESULT, HEROD HAD JOHN PUT IN PRISON. EVERYONE KNEW ABOUT THIS IMMORALITY, BUT NO ONE, EXCEPT JOHN WOULD SPEAK UP. HEROD WANTED TO KILL JOHN, BUT HE WAS AFRAID OF HIM, JOHN WAS A POPULAR PREACHER, AND HE WAS AFRAID THE PEOPLE WOULD REVOLT IF HE HARMED JOHN. HEROD LOVED TO LISTEN TO JOHN, BUT HE COULD NOT UNDERSTAND HIM.
NOW, 7 MONTHS LATER, JOHN IN PRISON, JESUS PREACHING AND GROWING IN POPULARITY, JOHN SENDS TWO OF HIS FOLLOWERS TO QUESTION JESUS.
1; ARE YOU THE ONE WHO IS TO COME?
2. SHOULD WE EXPECT SOMEONE ELSE?
WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT JOHN AND HIS MESSAGE BEFORE, BUT QUICKLY TO REVIEW. JOHN WAS PREACHING A MESSAGE OF REPENTANCE, AND BAPTIZING THOSE WHO LISTENED, BY IMMERSION IN THE JORDAN RIVER. JESUS COMES TO JOHN AND ASKS TO BE BAPTIZED. REMEMBER HE SAID, IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO, AND AFTER HE WAS BAPTIZED THE VOICE OF GOD SPOKE AND SAID, THIS IS MY SON IN WHOM I AM PLEASED. THESE ARE TWO VERY GOOD REASONS TO BE BAPTIZED, IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO, AND IT’S THE GOD PLEASING THING TO DO.
NOW I WANT YOU TO NOTE A VERSE THAT SPEAKS TO THE RELATIONSHIP OF JOHN AND JESUS, ITS JOHN 3;30. He must become greater; I must become less.
JOHN IS THE MOST POPULAR PREACHER OF THE DAY, GREAT CROWDS FOLLOW HIM, THEY HANG ON HIS EVERY WORD. NOW, HERE COMES JESUS, AND JOHN REALIZES, THIS IS THE ONE WHO I HAVE BEEN PREPARING THE WAY FOR. HE REALIZES THAT HE MUST STEP TO THE SIDE. JESUS BECOMES GREATER, JOHN BECOMES LESS.
REMEMBER THAT JOHN HAS ASKED TWO QUESTIONS, ARE YOU THE ONE, OR DO WE KEEP LOOKING. JESUS ANSWERS THE FOLLOWERS OF JOHN. HE DOES SO BY REPORTING WHAT HIS MINISTRY HAS BEEN. THE BLIND SEE, THE LAME WALK, THE DEAF HEAR, THE DEAD ARE RAISED, THE GOOD NEWS IS PREACHED. DON’T FALL AWAY. JESUS COULD HAVE REMINDED JOHN OF HIS OWN WORDS, YOU MUST INCREASE, BUT HE DOESN’T NEED TO. JOHNS FOLLOWERS RETURN TO JOHN WITH THE MESSAGE OF JESUS.
AFTER THEY DEPART, JESUS TURNS AND SPEAKS TO THE CROWD, HE SPEAKS ABOUT JOHN, AND HE DOES SO BY ASKING THREE QUESTIONS.
1. WHAT IS THE RESPONSE OF THE ORDINARY PERSON TO JOHN?
2. WHAT IS THE RESPONSE OF THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS?
3. WHAT IS THE RESPONSE OF JESUS HIMSELF?
JESUS LOOKS AT THE CROWD AND ASKS THEM, HOW DID YOU RESPOND TO JOHN AND HIS MESSAGE?
HE SAYS, WHAT DID YOU GO OUT TO THE DESSERT TO SEE? WE GO OUT TO SEE A LOT OF DIFFERENT THINGS FOR A LOT OF DIFFERENT REASONS. A FEW YEARS BACK I WENT TO A PROGRAM IN ST PETE, I GOT TO SEE GEORGE AND BARBARA BUSH, AND MANY OTHER CELERITIES. WHY DID I FIGHT TRAFFIC, DRIVE MILES, GET UP EARLY, SET ON A HARD BENCH FOR HOURS? I HAVE MET NORMAN VINCENT PEALE, DAVID WILKERSON,, JOHN MAXWELL AND CYMBALA. I HAVE LISTENED TO BOB HOPE AND BILLY GRAHAM. THE QUESTION TO PONDER IS THIS; WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? WHAT DO YOU EXPECT? SOMETIMES WE EXPECT ENTERTAINMENT, OR MOTIVATION, OR INSPIRATION. JESUS ASKED, WHEN YOU WENT OUT, WHAT DID YOU SEE? HE DOESN’T ALLOW THEM TO ANSWER, BUT INSTEAD ANSWERS HIMSELF WITH ANOTHER QUESTION. DID YOU SEE A REED SWAYED BY THE WIND? REMEMBER WE ARE TALKING ABOUT JOHN THE BAPTIST HERE. A REED, THIS THIN PIECE OF STICK BEING BLOWN ABOUT BY THE WIND. PERHAPS A MIGHTY OAK STANDING STRONG AGAINST THE WIND. HE ASKS THE QUESTION TO STIR THEIR MEMORIES.