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Dealing with Doubt. Matt 11: 1-11. Even great men doubt. John the Baptist is considered by many scholars to be the greatest OT prophet. It had been 400 yrs since Israel had one. He offered hope to the people. He called them back to God. He called out Pharisaical hypocrisy.
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Dealing with Doubt Matt 11: 1-11
Even great men doubt • John the Baptist is considered by many scholars to be the greatest OT prophet. • It had been 400 yrs since Israel had one. • He offered hope to the people. • He called them back to God. • He called out Pharisaical hypocrisy. • Josephus wrote more about John than about Jesus.
John’s 3 objectives… • Clear the way…call out religiousity • Prepare the way…point to Jesus • Get out of the way…Jesus begins His ministry • In the presence of the true Lamb of God, John “sees” himself as God sees him. • Men must now follow Jesus, not John.
John opens his mouth… • John calls out Herod & Herodious – it lands him in prison • John sits in a dungeon for 18 months, waiting on good news that NEVER comes. • Doubt sets in. He questions Jesus. “Are you (really) the One?” • Doubt should always compel us toward Jesus, not away from Him.
Jesus responds to John • Mt 11:4-6 – Jesus never rebukes sincere questions. He turns John back to the Scripture. Is35:5, Is 61 • Jesus is saying, “Even if you don’t get it, it seems wrong, My timing doesn’t make sense, TRUST Me, follow Me – don’t be offended, or stumble, because of your doubt.”
Jesus responds to us • Jude 22 “…and have mercy on some, those who are doubting…” • Jesus understands how the enemy uses loneliness & solitude to attack our faith. • Jesus didn’t throw John under the bus – he commends him, saying he is the best of the OT prophets. (v11) • John’s greatness was not in his ministry, it was because of his relationship to Jesus.
Dealing w/John’s doubt • Jesus refocused his priorities: John had unbiblical & unrealistic expectations of Jesus’ ministry & timing • Jesus used the Word to bring John back: He referred him to OT prophecies • Jesus kept right on with His plan & purpose and asked John not to stumble over it, or be annoyed because of it. (one day you’ll get it)
Closing thoughts… • Sometimes we need to go through the foyer of doubt in order to get into the sanctuary of certainty. • “He who knows nothing, doubts nothing.” French Proverb • Doubt is not the opposite of faith; it’s an element of faith (we’re working out our faith)
Be blessed…. • “Blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me.” (Lk 7:23) • “By standing firm (and not being moved by doubt – emphasis mine), you will gain life.” • (Lk 21:19)