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Reading through the Gospels #75

Luke 7:18-35; Matthew 11:1-19;


Luke 7:18-35; Matthew 11:1-19; MESSENGERS FROM JOHN THE BAPTIST

The followers of John the Baptist were reporting about Jesus to John. Matthew 11:2 indicates that John was in prison. John had been put in prison by Herod. Herod had married his own sister-in-law, and John publicly rebuked Herod's sin (Matthew 14:3-5). They must not have believed John to be tattle-telling to him, so John sent them to Jesus to ask for themselves, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” I do not think John was doubting himself, unless he was so downtrodden being in prison and Jesus allowing him to remain there.


Who better to handle the doubts of men than Jesus Himself, so I should follow this example and send people to the Word and Jesus if they doubt. When in doubt, don't turn away from Christ; turn to Him. Jesus did not answer with words, but in one hour healed many.  Then Jesus sent them back to John to tell him, concluding, "And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”  Why would Jesus ever offend me?  I cannot image that.  I can imagine not being bold in my faith in front of others, but that is of my own sin, not anything Jesus would do.


Jesus then shares with the crowds about John, a prophecy come true. He ends saying, "none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”  John fulfilled a purpose in God's plan, a great purpose, and yet the one that has the least purpose is greater than John's purpose.  John was the last of the prophets under the old covenant.  All those who were of the kingdom of God in the new testament were under a great covenant. 


The people who were baptized declared God just, but the Pharisees and lawyers who were not baptized rejected "the purpose of God for themselves."  The unbelievers were close to Jesus, yet so far away from faith. John ate not bread or wine and yet they found fault saying he was a demon.  Jesus ate bread and wine and they found fault saying he was a drunkard and a glutton.  The Pharisees inconsistent judgment was to fit their own purpose of hate towards both men. For some people, nothing you say or do will ever be right.

Copyright Cheryl Rutledge-Brennecke
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