Summary: Trusting in God in times of doubt
John In Doubt
Matthew 11:1-5 (February 9,2003)
A man fell off a cliff, but managed to grab a tree limb on the way down. The following conversation ensued:
"Is anyone up there?"
"I am here. I am the Lord. Do you believe me?"
"Yes, Lord, I believe. I really believe, but I can’t hang on much longer."
"That’s all right, if you really believe you have nothing to worry about. I will save you. Just let go of the branch."
A moment of pause, then: "Is anyone else up there?"
This illustration paints a good picture of a multitude of believers. Whenever we are hanging by a limb or when our faith is being tested, we become deceived by Satan and start doubting God.
In this mornings Scripture we read of John the Baptist. Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist;
The Old Testament Prophesied the Birth of John Malachi 3:1 “Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me.
John was to be the forerunner of Christ, the man who paved the way for the Messiah. This morning we are going to look at this prophet from God, the one Jesus said was the greatest who ever lived, dealing with an issue of doubt.
1. Johns Question of Doubt (Vv. 1-3)
A. Jesus Commanding His Disciples (v.1)
“Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities.
If you look in the previous chapter Matt 10:5 we find “Jesus sent out and commanded them. “ Jesus had commanded them to go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (v6), to preach the Kingdom of Heaven, Heal the sick, raise the dead, and heal the lepers, cast out Demons. (v.7)
Jesus had told them he was sending them out as sheep among the wolves (v.16), He told them they would be hated (v.22) He told them to confess Christ before men (v.32)
After Jesus concluded his teachings to the disciples, “He departed” to minister in the communities around Galilee. Jesus went to theses areas for a twofold purpose the “teach” and to “preach” To “teach” means Jesus was going to instruct the people on how to live and the way’s of God. To “preach” meant Jesus was going to proclaim the truth and the kingdom of God.
Just as Jesus departed into the region to teach and preach, today he uses preachers, teachers, singers, missionaries, and The Word of God, the BIBLE to teach the way of righteousness, Holiness, sanctification, and to Proclaim salvation and the Kingdom of God
B. John In Prison (v.2)
2And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples .”
John the Baptist at this time was in prison. He had been placed in prison according to Matt 14 for Preaching against the Adulteress marriage of Herod Antipas. Herod had seduced the wife of his half brother Phillip, than divorced his wife and married Herodias, which was his brother’s wife.
John at this point had meet and baptized Jesus, but he had never heard him preach nor had he seen Jesus perform any miracles, but he had “Heard about the works of Christ”