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Lesson # Matt. 11:8
Study Material - Matt. 11:8
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
8 But [alla] what [tis] went ye out [exerchomai] for to see [eido] ? A man [anthropos] clothed [amphiennumi] in [en] soft [malakos] raiment [himation] ? behold [idou] , they that wear [phoreo] soft [malakos] clothing are [eisi] in [en] kings [basileus] ' houses [oikos] . KJV-Interlinear
8 'But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' palaces. NAS
Ascetics and the self righteous look to external things to gain the approval of God. History is full of ascetics that have been misguided and pursued various forms of self-inflicted poverty, pain, or the humiliation of self denial in order to reach God or just to gain His attention. Ascepsimas wore heavy chains about his neck that forced him to crawl on his hands and knees. For forty years the monk Besarion slept only while sitting in a chair. Macarius the Younger lived without clothes in a swamp for six months and was so severely bitten by mosquitos that his body looked leprous. Simeon Stylites, the most famous of the ancient ascetics, died at the age of seventy-two, after having spent thirty-seven years sitting atop various pillars, the last of which was 66 feet high. And in 1403 the father of the beautiful, respected, and wealthy Agnes de Rocher died, she decided to become a religious recluse. From the age of eighteen until the age of eighty, when she died, Agnes spent her life sealed in a small chamber specially built into the wall of a Paris cathedral. A small opening enabled her to hear the mass, receive communion, and accept gifts of food from friends.
We have already seen that mans works are excluded from Gods plan. Anything a man can do, can equally be done by an unbeliever or believer in Christ. John the Baptist did not seek the fine clothes of the palace. He did not seek the indulgences of life, not that these are evil per se for they are not. Having wealth is a blessing when it is received in the sphere of the spiritual life. It is a curse however, when it becomes a distraction or a source of rejection of God in ones life.
John did not attain his fame for his appearance or his life style. Though certainly many probably came to see the 'show,' however, many more came and remained his followers because of his message of the gospel. John's life or lifestyle were never an issue.
Unfortunately many miss the point of John's life. They ignore the message, and try to imitate his life or his life style, thinking that it is the life of self denial that brings a person closer to God, and that is simply a wrong conclusion.
Throwing away all you have, trying to undergo severe pain through some form of self denial, is a fools path to just more misery in the life, and when you come face to face with death, then you realize your error, but after death it is too late to correct your life which is over.
Those who went out to see John, were too, drawn out to see a real true to life prophet. No prophet has ben heard from nor even seen for over 400 years. And now John was called out for a very special purpose in his life - to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah.
Quoting Mal. 3:1, John was brought into this world for one purpose only - to prepare the way of the coming Messiah. He was not brought into the world to teach a new life style of living in the desert, nor or introducing a new line of clothing (camel hair), not of bring a new diet of locusts and honey to society. This was just his preferred way of living.
John was more than a prophet. He was prophecy being fulfilled, and in that day, in the flesh. People who had read all the stories of the scriptures, who had read of the miracles of the exodus, now had their chance to actually witness in person, a true to life prophet, and the fulfillment of prophecy both at the same time.
Not only this but, John was to be the greatest of all the prophets, but not from the stand point of his own personal abilities, but from the stand point of the time in history in which he lived. God controls history. God gave life to John, knowing his life from birth to death. John had but one purpose within the plan of God, and he fulfilled it.
God places each one of us in history at precisely the correct time for our life. We may take advantage of life and make good decisions (Bible study), and therefore fulfill the most of what God has planned for us. Or, we might squander our life by making bad decisions (no Bible study). We always have the choices to determine where we will end up in life.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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