Scripture: Matthew 11:1-6 [NLT]
1 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?”
4 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: 5 The blind see 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 who is not offended because of Me.”
(Matthew 11:1-6, New King James Version)
Observation: (What does your mind’s eye see in this scripture?)
Jesus has just finished giving the battle plan and necessary training to His disciples. He has prepared them for “war”. And now it seems that He has gone on alone and done more healing and preaching in the towns throughout the region. Interesting that he would separate from His disciples, but I think maybe He wanted them to see that they could do it without Him being there. The power comes from God, not man.
So then we have John the Baptist, who is in prison, wondering if his work has been for nothing. Stuck in prison, little news from outside, he does catch stories of Jesus and his miracles. Cut off and most likely despairing, he just wants to know for sure that what he worked for is truly happening. It is not necessarily a doubt in what he had called for, but only a need for reassurance that it really has finally come. So he sends his friends to ask Jesus.
Now Jesus does the wise thing. Instead of telling John’s friends to go back and assure them that He is the Messiah, He tells them to go back and share “what you have seen and heard”. This is much stronger proof of Jesus’ power than any reassurance by word alone. And then he does send a little message of encouragement, basically saying to John. “You did well. You stood firm and did not turn away from me. God will bless you” What words of encouragement!
Application: (How can I apply this to my life?)
There are often times when I feel discouraged and down. Days where the enemy is especially good at putting doubts and discouragements into my mind. Here I see a great man of God, John the Baptist, having doubts about who he is supporting and the direction he took. He reaches out to the Messiah for comfort and reassurance.
I feel like Jesus is telling me a couple of things here. First, I will reassure you when your down, just ask. Second, how he shared who he was (when reassuring John) is how He asks us to share Him with others. The best witness I can give is more than just words…we must share our experiences with Christ. Sharing the bible is important, but non-believers can gain so much more from the real power of Christ; the power to change lives.
Thank You so much for being willing to stick with us even when we get down. For being willing to reassure us when everything seems to be going in the wrong direction. Help me to learn to share You in a real way with others. I’m tired of just arguing facts. I want to share what You have really done in my life.
Thank You for this encouragement. Be with me today and give me the opportunity to share You with someone. Thank You for watching over my family and friends. I ask that you continue to be with and comfort the Wilson’s in their time of need. I ask that You will bless our small bible study groups and help them to grow, allowing You to change more lives.
Thank You for all that you provide. I love You. In Jesus Name, Amen.
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