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Summary: APART FROM JESUS, WHO WAS THE GREATEST MAN WHO EVER LIVED? HE’S THE MAN THAT JESUS SAID IS THE GREATEST MAN BORN OF A WOMAN. THAT WAS THE LORD’S ASSESSMENT OF HIS COUSIN, JOHN THE BAPTIST.

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7-23-04

Title: John the Baptist’s Problem

Text: “AND BLESSED IS HE, WHOSOEVER SHALL NOT BE OFFENDED IN ME. “ (Matthew 11:6)

Bible Reading: Matthew 11:3-6

INTRODUCTION:

I WANT TO BEGIN WITH A QUESTION.

YOU DON’T NEED TO ANSWER; JUST THINK ABOUT IT.

APART FROM JESUS, WHO WAS THE GREATEST MAN WHO EVER LIVED?

HE’S THE MAN THAT JESUS SAID IS THE GREATEST MAN BORN OF A WOMAN.

THAT WAS THE LORD’S ASSESSMENT OF HIS COUSIN, JOHN THE BAPTIST.

SEVERAL THINGS CAN BE SAID ABOUT THIS GREAT MAN:

• HE WAS SENT BY GOD TO GO BEFORE JESUS AND TO PREPARE THE WAY FOR HIM.

• HE WAS BORN TO BE A PRIEST, BUT HE PREFERRED THE ROLE OF A PROPHET.

• HE WAS AN OUTSTANDING PREACHER, AND HIS MESSAGE WAS REVIVAL.

THE RESULT OF HIS PREACHING WAS THAT HE HAD GREAT SUCCESS.

THIS WAS THE MAN KNOWN AS JOHN THE BAPTIST.

HE WAS A GREAT MAN OF GOD, BUT AS WE BEGIN TODAY’S MESSAGE HIS MINISTRY IS IN SHAMBLES.

HIS WORLD IS REDUCED TO A PRISON CELL.

HIS LIFE IS ONLY A HEART BEAT AWAY FROM HEROD’S AXE.

IT’S NO WONDER THAT JOHN BEGAN TO HAVE DOUBTS.

AFTER ALL, JESUS, HAD NEVER COME OUT AND TOLD HIM PERSONALLY THAT HE WAS THE MESSIAH.

THEREFORE, JOHN HAD SOME LEGITIMATE QUESTIONS:

• HAD HE BEEN MISTAKEN?

• WAS JESUS REALLY THE MESSIAH?

HE HAD TO KNOW THE ANSWER, BEFORE THE EXECUTIONER CAME TO PUT HIM TO DEATH.

SO, HE SENT HIS FRIENDS TO JESUS TO ASK THE QUESTION, AND TO GET SOME STREIGHT FORWARD ANSWERS; AND GET THEM HE DID.

OUR TEXT HAS IN IT BOTH THE QUESTION AND THE ANSWER.

IT SAYS IN MATTHEW 11:3-6

3 AND SAID UNTO HIM, ART THOU HE THAT SHOULD COME, OR DO WE LOOK FOR ANOTHER?

4 JESUS ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO THEM, GO AND SHEW JOHN AGAIN THOSE THINGS WHICH YE DO HEAR AND SEE:

5 THE BLIND RECEIVE THEIR SIGHT, AND THE LAME WALK, THE LEPERS ARE CLEANSED, AND THE DEAF HEAR, THE DEAD ARE RAISED UP, AND THE POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM.

6 AND BLESSED IS HE, WHOSOEVER SHALL NOT BE OFFENDED IN ME.

THE QUESTION THEY ASKED OUR LORD WAS, “ARE YOU THE MESSIAH?”

TODAY’S MESSAGE WILL BEGIN BY LOOKING AT HOW THE QUESTION WAS ASKED, AND THEN WE’LL SEE HOW THE QUESTION WAS ANSWERED.

IT’S IN VERSE 3 THAT WE CAN SEE HOW THE QUESTION WAS ASKED.

BUT BEFORE WE LOOK AT THE VERSE, LET’S LOOK AT THE MAN, JOHN THE BAPTIST.

IN FACT, LET’S LOOK AT HIM IN THREE WAYS.

FIRST, LET’S LOOK AT JOHN AS A PERSON

HIS BIRTH WAS SIGNIFICANT AND I BELIEVE IT WAS THE SECOND MOST IMPORTANT BIRTH IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND.

JOHN’S FATHER WAS A PRIEST BY THE NAME OF ZACHARIAS AND HIS MOTHER WAS ELIZABETH.

IN LUKE IT SAYS, “AND THEY WERE BOTH RIGHTEOUS BEFORE GOD…”

HOW WERE THEY RIGHTEOUS?

THEY RECOGNIZED THAT THEY WERE SINNERS AND BROUGHT THE PROPER SACRIFICES.

THEY LIVED LIVES OF OBEDIENCE TO GOD, AND WHEN THEY COMMITTED A SIN OR MADE A MISTAKE THEY BROUGHT THE PROPER SACRIFICE.

KEEP IN MIND THAT THEY WERE STILL UNDER THE LAW AND THE SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM.

WERE UNDER GRACE TODAY.

HOWEVER, THERE WAS TRAGEDY IN THEIR LIVES, BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T HAVE A CHILD.


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