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Dealing with Doubts. March 29. Think About It … . What do you do while you’re waiting in a line? John the Baptist didn’t have to wait in line … he had to wait in prison … he worried, he doubted about what was happening.  Today we look at Jesus response to John the Baptist’s doubts.

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think about it
Think About It …
  • What do you do while you’re waiting in a line?
  • John the Baptist didn’t have to wait in line … he had to wait in prison … he worried, he doubted about what was happening.

 Today we look at Jesus response to John the Baptist’s doubts.

listen for specifically what john was worried about
Listen for specifically what John was worried about.

Matthew 11:1-6 (NIV) After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. [2] When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples [3] to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"

listen for specifically what john was worried about1
Listen for specifically what John was worried about.

[4] Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: [5] The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. [6] Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."

jesus shows who he really is
Jesus Shows Who He Really Is
  • What message or question did John the Baptist send to Christ from prison?
  • Note the nature of the prison
    • Located in rugged, mountainous area
    • Hard to get to, harder to escape from
    • Ruins show a large dungeon area
    • John’s region of ministry visible from this location
jesus shows who he really is1
Jesus Shows Who He Really Is
  • If you faithfully lived for God and were thrown in jail, how do you think you might react?
  • How does all of this explain John’s difficulty in accepting Jesus as the Messiah?
  • What kind of proof did Jesus offer to establish His claim to be the Messiah?
  • Based on this passage, how do you think Jesus reacts when we have moments of weakness and doubts about our faith?
jesus shows who he really is2
Jesus Shows Who He Really Is

Spiritual doubts are always a negative thing.

  • Agree or Disagree?
  • How can/should you personally handle doubts when they come?
listen for how jesus praises john the baptist
Listen for how Jesus praises John the Baptist.

Matthew 11:7-15 (NIV) As John's disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: "What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? [8] If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings' palaces. [9] Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.

listen for how jesus praises john the baptist1
Listen for how Jesus praises John the Baptist.

[10] This is the one about whom it is written: " 'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.' [11] I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

listen for how jesus praises john the baptist2
Listen for how Jesus praises John the Baptist.

[12] From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. [13] For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. [14] And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. [15] He who has ears, let him hear.

jesus encourages faithful followers
Jesus Encourages Faithful Followers
  • What things did Jesus say John the Baptist was not?
  • According to Jesus, what was John’s role?
  • What other complements does he pay John?

 Note that Jesus did not reproach John for doubting …

    • in fact He encouraged John.
    • He praised John’s ministry
jesus encourages faithful followers1
Jesus Encourages Faithful Followers
  • In what ways could the work of God be advancing (as described of John) in your life or in your circle of influence?
  • What have you seen and heard about Jesus that you could tell others?

When we allow God’s Spirit to rule in our lives, to empower our lives

    • then we will be advancing the Kingdom of Heaven as did John
jesus rebukes the doubting world
Jesus Rebukes the Doubting World
  • Why can the appearances of God’s servants affect how they are received?
  • Listen for how Jesus rebukes people who make an unfair value judgment based on appearance.
listen for how jesus rebukes people
Listen for how Jesus rebukes people

Matthew 11:16-19 (NIV) "To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: [17] " 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.' [18] For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' [19] The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." 'But wisdom is proved right by her actions."

jesus rebukes the doubting world1
Jesus Rebukes the Doubting World
  • Jesus makes a comparison between the play of children and the religious habits of adults. What kinds of children’s games were pointed out?
  • How did Jesus use this to show rejection of the ministries of both John and Jesus?
jesus rebukes the doubting world2
Jesus Rebukes the Doubting World
  • Why can Jesus’ actions, Jesus’ message strengthen the faith of some people while causing others more doubts?
  • How can a person learn to be more open to God’s Truth?
application
Application
  • Consider levels of doubt which you might have
    • Level 1: you reflect on them occasionally but decide you’ll never figure them out
    • Level 2: issues you wonder about now and again but usually do not struggle with
    • Level 3: doubts that wake you up at night, you really worry about them

 As a devotional exercise, list at least one doubt in each category … seek God’s guidance for your doubts

application1
Application
  • Realize that God is working in your life, even when you have doubts
    • Ask God to help you to focus more on the advancement of His Kingdom
    • Look for ways to be involved in outreach ministries
    • Encourage others who share their doubts with you
application2
Application
  • Be aware of the doubts of unbelievers around you
    • Seek for opportunities to share what God has done in your life
    • Ask God for strength to demonstrate a life of faith
    • Look for ways to encourage faith in the loves of others