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Lesson # Matt. 11:1-3
Study Material - Matt. 11:1-3
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.
1 And [kai] it came to pass [ginomai] , when [hote] Jesus [Iesous] had made an end [teleo] of commanding [diatasso] his [autos] twelve [dodeka] disciples [mathetes] , he departed [metabaino] thence [ekeithen] to teach [didasko] and [kai] to preach [kerusso] in [en] their [autos] cities [polis] .
2 Now [de] when John [Ioannes] had heard [akouo] in [en] the prison [desmoterion] the works [ergon] of Christ [Christos] , he sent [pempo] two [duo] of his [autos] disciples [mathetes] ,
3 And said [epo] unto him [autos] , Art [ei] thou [su] he that should come [erchomai] , or [e] do we look [prosdokao] for another [heteros] ? KJV-Interlinear
1 And it came about that when Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their cities. 2 Now when John in prison heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples, 3 and said to Him, 'Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?' NAS
In the first ten chapters of Matthew, a great deal of information is presented to prove just who Jesus Christ is. In chapters 1 and 2, the miraculous birth and fulfilled prophecy of the savior promised from many centuries prior. In chapter 3, the forerunner of Christ and of God the Father. In chapter 4, the integrity and perfection of Christ. In chapter 5 through 7 His policy. In chapter 8 and 9, His power and authority. In chapter 10, what we are to expect and do as students of Christ - learn and not worry.
Even with many proofs there arises in each of our lives, doubt. Life falls down around our ears, then worry sets in and we begin to wonder if it all is really true or it's just some pipe dream.
John the Baptist finds himself in jail. Attention has shifted from him to Jesus, and John has been swallowed up, lost to history. John's life is uncertain, and of course by sitting in prison, he has lots of time on his hands to think. Many people become guilty of over thinking and then they question and then their doubts leap to more questions.
Jesus could have answered with a simple 'Yes', but he chose to answer with doctrine and prophecy instead. Faith is the answer to all concerns that people might have regarding the Bible. But not just a child's faith based on naive trust, but faith of an adult based on confidence through understood doctrine taught in a classroom format, like we are doing in this setting, or in some other similar setting. True faith is based on knowledge, not wishes. Wisdom comes from knowledge and application of that knowledge to life.
John has been in prison for a while now (see Matt. 14:3-4) and when one is idle and in a helpless situation then the mind works overtime and it is usually negative. Jesus Christ will help remind John of what he has learned - Old Testament scriptures. Not just of one or two verses, but from many verses, such that John will recall what he has learned and that recall from memory will help reinforce his faith and confidence regardless of his situation.
In the next two chapters several negatives will be presented - doubt, criticism, indifference, rejection, amazement, blasphemy, and curiosity. These six trends of thought will be answered twice by Christ, and in both cases, faith will be the answer to each and every one of these worldly attacks against ones faith.
Doubt. John the Baptist had been obedient from his youth. He was a mature believer (even mature believers can have doubts from time to time - they just recover more quickly than immature believers). John has now been in prison for about a year. He has received his information regarding Jesus, from his own disciples who have obviously been observing Jesus' works and hearing Jesus' words, and have been reporting back to John. So John's information is not first hand but second hand. Much as you and I receive information today. None of us have seen or spoken directly to Christ, we receive our instruction second hand through the scriptures.
John has lived his life in the desert. Out where the space was wide open and his freedoms were basically unchallenged. Now he is in prison for no real wrong doing. Certainly nothing that would justify imprisonment, but in prison he was just the same. He has look to God all his life, and now at the end of his life, he sees failure for all his efforts, and even disgrace as the world would look at him. Anyone who has been in prison or in trouble with the law is presumed, by the world, to be disgraced and something of a lessor person than all the rest. World opinion is worthless so this should not depress anyone who has had bad events occur in their life. World opinion is not limited to crime related things. World opinions can attack anyone for any reason, whether truthful or a lie. Still world opinion makes no difference, and should not make any difference to the positive believer. God runs our life, nit the world and we should not live our lives in accordance with the will of public opinion especially when it runs contrary to Bible doctrine.
John is now in prison. He has been there for about a year now and he has doubts. What is Gods plan for His life? We all have faced this question. We have all probably faced disasters of many types in our lives. We have all probably looked skyward and shouted, ' Why?' Then follow that by a tantrum of various types, questioning, harping, criticizing, complaining, and then we just get worn out and go to bed and sleep it off, or have a drink, or something. From here we can either slip further away from God in our bitterness, or we can recall Bible doctrine and slowly, and surely climb out of our pit of doubt and back into a stabilized life.
This chapter open up not with Jesus performing miracles, but with Jesus teaching and preaching. The preaching has to with the gospel, salvation, and believing in Christ. The teaching has to do with Gods instruction for living the spiritual life. Jesus does not give us the magic formula for a new energy source or for new medicines, or for better kitchen utensils. He gives us information (Bible doctrine) to help us to have a better life within this devils world with all its flaws, and despite all the flaws that stand against us, and to help us to prepare for eternity - the place of our true destiny and the vast majority of the rest of our 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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