Summary: Jesus reveals His true character – one which you will find at once comforting and challenging – part 1
A kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they drew. She would occasionally walk around to see each child’s artwork. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, "I’m drawing God." The teacher paused and said, "but no one knows what God looks like." Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing the girl replied, "They will in a minute."
We get a big kick out of kids’ views of what God is like. Here are some examples:
In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, God got tired of creating the world, so he took the Sabbath off.
Noah’s wife was called Joan of Ark.
Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night.
Moses led the Hebrews to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread which is bread without any ingredients. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten ammendments.
The first commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple.
The fifth commandment is to humor thy father and mother.
Moses died before he ever reached Canada.
The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.
Solomon, one of David’s sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.
When Mary heard that she was the mother of Jesus, she sang the Magna Carta.
It was a miracle when Jesus rose from the dead and managed to get the tombstone off the entrance.
The people who followed the Lord were called the 12 decibels.
The epistles were the wives of the apostles.
A Christian should have only one spouse. This is called monotony.
We laugh because kids often mishear things – and make silly assumptions based on what they thought they heard. But how often do we have a concept of God that runs against our preconceptions? Or we base our view of God on wrong or partial information.
That’s what we find today as we continue our study through the gospel of Matthew. We find someone who you’d have never thought would have a problem with Jesus express some real doubts – and we find Jesus revealing His true character in a way that is both comforting and challenging.
After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.
2 When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"
This seems odd at first. John, remember, baptized Jesus in the Jordan and saw heaven opened. John the gospel writer tells us that John the Baptist said: "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."
And yet here he is, doubting that Jesus is the Messiah. What gives? First – some perspective. John was an outspoken guy – to say the least. His message was one of preparation and judgment. He had harsh words for many people, including Herod Antipas.
Herod Antipas was also known as Herod the Tetrarch. He was the son of Herod the Great. Herod Antipas was a very cruel and corrupted man. He ruled Galilee from 4b.c. till 39a.d. He became enamored with his own half brother’s wife, his sister in law – who was also the daughter of another half-brother, so also his niece – and married her.
John the Baptist called Herod into account for this sinful act. Herod, at first fearful of John, later put him in prison, perhaps to silence his rebukes.
So here’s John, sitting in a dungeon, hearing about what Jesus has been doing since he baptized Him. The likely possibility is that John, like many of his contemporaries, was waiting for judgment – against sin, and against the sinners who ruled – like Herod.
When all the news he got was about Jesus message of forgiveness and healing – perhaps he wondered if this really was the Messiah – a Messiah that the Bible promised would come to rule and reign.
Before we get to Jesus’ answer, let me say this: Never fear to ask an honest question.
If something’s bugging you about God, ask Him, ask me, seek it out and study for yourself. God never rebukes someone for asking an honest question. And Jesus doesn’t rebuke John.
4 Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 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. 6 Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."