Summary: Are we too easily offended by the anwers that Jesus gives?
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Pastor James May
OFFENDED BY CHRIST
Matthew 11:2-3, "Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?"
Luke 7:21-23, " And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight. Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me."
All across the church world there are those who have been offended by the message of the gospel and by the teachings of the doctrines of the Bible. The drop-out rate is very high because most people don’t want to hear the truth, much less obey it.
In the 7th chapter of Luke Jesus performs many miracles of healing, deliverance and even the raising of the dead back to life.
First he healed the servant of the Roman Centurion whose faith in the ability of Jesus to heal far surpassed the faith of those who were supposed to believe in him.
Then he passed through the city of Nain and there he found a funeral procession going to the burial site. The only son of a widow had passed away and she was grieving so terribly that it caught Jesus’ attention. He walked over to the procession, stopped it and raised the young man back to life.
The disciples of John the Baptist had stood by, following closely behind Jesus to see what he would do. I am certain that even if they had not been there on the day that John baptized Jesus, they still knew the story and events of that baptism. On that day John was convinced that Jesus was the one who was to come “… whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:" (Matthew 3:11).
The appearance of the Holy Spirit like a dove and the audible voice of the Father in approval of Jesus Christ as his son were enough to bring John and most of those around to the place where they would accept Jesus as the Messiah, at least for a while.
I think that we can see from these passages of scripture that John wasn’t so sure of who Jesus was any longer. I believe that he had fallen into the same mindset as most of Israel who was looking for a Messiah that would deliver Israel from the slavery under Roman taskmasters and give them their freedom to worship and independence from Gentile rule once again.
Jesus had been roaming about the land of Israel for some time now and John did not see any signs that Jesus would be raising an army to revolt against the Roman Legion guarding Jerusalem. He did not see a band of militia being formed or the temple guards being strengthened. He had begun to doubt within himself whether Jesus was the Messiah or not. The descending of the Holy Spirit and the voice of God that he had heard at Jordan seemed so long ago and so far away that doubts of those events had probably begun to creep into his heart.
I am certain that John was anxious to see the deliverance of Israel begin. He was already under arrest in a Roman jail and it wouldn’t be long until he would be beheaded at the request of the daughter of Herodias as a gift from Herod for her dancing skills. Herodias and Herod wanted John dead anyway because he had exposed their adulterous marriage and this was as good an excuse as any to rid themselves of this prophet who was causing them so much embarrassment.