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Summary: John had predicted the coming of the Messiah just as the prophets of old had predicted. In his mind the Messiah was coming to baptize people with the Spirit of God and with fire. But now, he wondered. Was Jesus really the Messiah? He had to know.

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I. Introduction

A. Lets read Matthew 11:1 - 3 as our introduction

Matthew 11:1-3 (NKJV)

Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities. {2} And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples {3} and said to Him, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?"

1. Obviously John had heard about the works of Christ

a. Turn to Matthew 3:11

b. John had predicted the coming of the Messiah just as the prophets of old had predicted

c. In his mind the Messiah was coming to baptize people with the Spirit of God and with fire

Matthew 3:11 (NKJV)

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

d. The Messiah, Christ, had appeared upon the scene and was baptizing people with the Spirit of God

(1) The people were flocking around Him as though He was the Messiah

(2) But He was doing nothing about baptizing people with fire, the messianic fire of judgment

(a) It may be that to John's mind Christ was only fulfilling half of the prophecies concerning the Messiah

(b) John may have been a little confused

(c) Obviously John wondered about Jesus

i) Was Jesus really the Messiah?

ii) He had to know

iii) His whole life had been given over to the belief that Jesus was the Messiah

iv) So, John sent two disciples to ask

a) Turn to Deuteronomy 19:15

b) Why two disciples?

c) By the mouth of two or three witnesses

Deuteronomy 19:15 (NKJV)

"One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.

v) And Jesus used the opportunity to validate His Messiahship

2. We can take this passage and outline it as follows:

a. Background: Jesus ended the commissioning of His disciples verse 1

b. John's perplexity: he pictured Messiah verses 2 & 3

c. Jesus' assurance: He was beyond question the Messiah verses 4 - 6

(1) Lets go back and read verse 1 again

II. Body

A. Jesus ended the commissioning of His disciples

Matthew 11:1 (NKJV)

Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities.

1. The idea is that Jesus sent them out alone without His going along

a. They were to learn to minister, and the way they were to learn was through practical experience

b. They were to learn while they were actually out ministering

(1) This was the on the job training

c. But see that Jesus began to minister again all alone

(1) The incident involving John the Baptist’s question happened to Christ while He was unaccompanied

2. Jesus sent His Apostles out to begin to minister without Jesus being there

a. Jesus Himself continued His ministry in the cities and villages

(1) Now we turn to Matthew 11:2 - 3

B. John's perplexity, John’s question

Matthew 11:2-3 (NKJV)

And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples {3} and said to Him, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?"

1. We know that John was in prison and he heard about the works of Christ

a. What John heard was that the works of Christ were works of love

(1) John knew that the Messiah was to baptize with both the Spirit and fire-the Messianic fire of judgment

(2) He had heard that Jesus was doing the loving works of the Spirit and that people were mobilizing around Him in huge throngs

(3) But he had heard nothing about the fire of Messianic judgment

(a) Turn to Psalm 118:26

(b) It seemed that Jesus was fulfilling only half of the Messianic prophecies

(c) He was perplexed and questioning, so he sent two emissaries to Jesus for an answer

i) Understand that despite the questions John had, he still believed that Jesus was the Messiah

(4) John believed in the promises of Scripture concerning the Messiah, Are You the coming one?

Psalm 118:26 (NKJV)

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.

(5) John was committed to seek God's Messiah

(a) "Do we look for another?"

(b) John was willing to have his faith confirmed in Jesus as the true Messiah

(c) The fact that he asked the questions shows this

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