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Lesson # Matt. 11:7
Study Material - Matt. 11:7
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.
7 And [de] as [touton] they departed [poreuomai] , Jesus [Iesous] began [archomai] to say [lego] unto the multitudes [ochlos] concerning [peri] John [Ioannes] , What [tis] went ye [exerchomai] out into [eis] the wilderness [eremos] to see [theaomai] ? A reed [kalamos] shaken [saleuo] with [hupo] the wind [anemos] ? KJV-Interlinear
7 And as these were going away, Jesus began to speak to the multitudes about John, 'What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? NAS
Jesus now addressed the crowd that was standing there. Why? Because John's disciples have come forward and within hearing distance submitted John's question concerning John's doubt.
John had a large following. He preached the 'savior to come'. He baptized in the Jordan River, those who would express their belief in the Messiah, and to represent his own teaching of the ritual of baptism and how it identified, everyone who believed, with the work of salvation (death, burial, and resurrection).
By the way, water baptism does not save. It presents a picture of the work of Christ. Only faith saves.
Anyway. John has a large following and John had a reputation of strong conviction and of being a rather tough and rugged guy. So when folks standing near by, hear of his doubts, then they might begin to wonder if what even John had to say and teach, was true.
So we have a second category of doubt enter into the picture. John's doubt was fueled by the pressures he had from prison life and the uncertainty of his future. John did not have the privilege of hearing and seeing first hand, the words and work of Jesus. Still time has been passing and John fully expected Christ to become the sacrifice (Lamb of God) for all of mankind, and this was not happening. So confusion between his expectations and the deeds of Christ, was in John's mind.
This happens to us all. We enter into Christianity with some form of expectation and then life and reality hit us. The two generally are not the same.
The crowd is lingering about with all their problems, and Jesus is curing folks right and left. He is teaching and these folks hear Him first hand. They both hear and see, and what they hear and see are irrefutable proofs as to who Jesus really is. Yet the first moment they hear something from someone with whom they are familiar (John the Baptist), and that something seems to go against what they see first hand, they (being very weak in their faith and therefore weak in their objectivity) begin to immediately question the truth.
John is not on hand and never has been since Jesus' ministry began, except for the time on the river when John baptized Jesus and witnessed the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus. Yet people with weak faith will question at the drop of a pin so to speak.
Hear we have the real difference between the greatness and weakness of people. Great people are defined in this world according to their accomplishments. The world looks to external things for definition. Some are great in sports, in the arts, in music, in drama, in intellectual settings, in the sciences, in politics or military of business leadership, in wealth or power or position and so forth. These are all temporary characteristics. True greatness in the spiritual realm is the ability of one to overcome overwhelming odds through faith, and come out the victor. Even in the human realm, ones ability to overcome the difficulties of life is a sign of greatness (as far as the jungle goes).
Too often people are given over to their own ignorance, to their handicaps, to their own laziness, to their own indifference and so forth. The problems they face seem too great (or they decide that they are too great) and they just do not want to try to crawl out of them. Folks become their own jail keeper, locking themselves up because of their own predicament.
God has told us that there is nothing in life that we are made to face, that we will not have the ability to overcome or handle. And history throughout the centuries has recorded many circumstances in which people have risen above their problems, giving full proof that any situation we might face in life, can be defeated or even tolerated.
Here we see John in prison and needing only the reassuring words of Jesus to bring his doubts under control. And then there are people standing nearby, seeing and hearing Jesus in person, and a simple little question is submitted, and they begin to question what they have seen and heard! John is in a compromising situation and he has no power over his predicament, yet John does not give in to the apparent hopelessness of his situation. He looked to Christ. John sent his disciples to observe and to relay back to him the words and events of Christ. He maintained his spiritual growth and status.
Too many people are weak and therefore they give in to their weaknesses. They don't want to try. They might even look to others to do things for them. Why did these people go to the river? To watch the reeds grow and blowing in the wind? No. They went to hear John speak. They went to learn from John. They went to become baptized and to identify themselves with the work of salvation. So too now, these same people come to get their problems fixed or cured as it were. They come to hear and see the real God walking and speaking face to face to them.
So the question is, 'What do you go to Bible class for?' Are you learning anything? Are you learning in the proper way (within the sphere of fellowship)? Are you really building up spiritual muscle? Or, are you just marking time (spinning your wheels going really nowhere) and really have ulterior motives and expectations for the easy life with no responsibility or accountability expected from yourself?
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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