Luke 7 Part 3–John, and the Crisis of Faith

Clearly, the crowds had moved on.  For a time, John the Baptist was the Rockstar.  People came from everywhere to see and be baptized by this man of God.  He spoke with authority and preached repentance to a world that had abandoned their faith.  He was rough and burley.  He was so different from the norm, that people would come to see him simply because of his oddity.  But, when they heard him speak of Messiah–well then hope was restored.  

Then, the day came when Jesus started his ministry.  John announced Jesus and baptized him.  John knew Jesus was Messiah–he had known it from the time they met in their Mom’s wombs!  Still as Jesus grew in popularity, John’s following dissipated.  His disapproval of Herod’s behavior landed John in jail awaiting execution.  John’s faithful team kept him up to date about what was happening and the growing popularity of Jesus.  There in the jail, John questioned his purpose and his call.  John sent his guys to confront Jesus–Are You the one?

Jesus, as he had with so many others, sent back a message of comfort and peace.  “Tell John what you have seen–the healing, the opening of eyes, the casting out of demons and the raising folks from the Dead.  In a word, Jesus assured His cousin that while His ministry was different, their purpose was the same.  Jesus was changing the world and Its picture of the Heavenly Father.  Jesus was not mad.  He did not take offense at John’s crisis of faith.  Instead, Jesus reminded all that were there–a large crowd, to say the least, that John was a superHero.  He changed the course of many lives and prepared the way for Messiah.  Still, compared to God’s chosen, Jesus reminded the people that even rockstars pale in comparison.We, as His people, are children of God. 

We will stand with the Lord for eternity.  When life gets hard and circumstances seem hopeless, we must take our hope from that promise! John knew and we must cling to the fact that Jesus Christ is enough. He must be enough in both good times and bad.  He must be our sufficiency whether we are hungry or well fed.  He has to be the center of our faith.  Jesus comforted His friend because sometimes it is hard to see the miracle that is sitting in front of us.  Because of Jesus, we are able to be in a personal relationship with God, Our Heavenly Father.  That is a great gift.

God Bless You


John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19 he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’”

21 At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[a] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 23 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

24 After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 25 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces. 26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27 This is the one about whom it is written:

“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way before you.’[b]

28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

29 (All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John. 30 But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.)

Matthew 11 part 1–John the Baptist

When the pressure increases and life gets difficult, our faith is really tested.  John the Baptist was the man that announced Jesus entrance into ministry.  He baptized Jesus and stepped aside as Jesus Ministry flourished.  Now as John was being persecuted for his faith, even he began to question the very center of his faith—Is Jesus the one???  Jesus didn’t get angry, he did not criticize his cousin.  Instead, Jesus comforted him with facts and answered his question directly.  Jesus then told the crowd of his love for John and the view God had of him—he was one of the great ones.

We often worry that if we have a bad day or a crisis of faith that God will somehow erase all the devotion and tireless following we have done and write us of as some worn out has been.  No Father does that to his child.  God is our main Cheerleader and coach.  He will meet us where we are and will draw us to himself to give us the strength to press on even on days that simply does not seem possible.  When we are feeling weak and discouraged—that s when we need to lean into the Lord.  Prayer, study and fellowship with others on the journey become the lifeline in times of crisis.  Never be afraid to ask the father for anything—at any time.  He alone is the Lord God and he loves us more than anyone.

God Bless You

2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

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[b] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

7 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness 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. 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.’[c]

11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

 

 

Matthew 3 part 1 John the Baptist

In a coffee shop down from my office, one of the baristas is quite an accomplished guitarist and performer. He has become so good and so well known that he spends most of his weekends traveling around the country to be the warm up act for various Top rock and hip hop bands. The warm up band is an important part of a concert.  They keep the audience captivated for the main act and they set the tone for the evening.  While the warm up act is not the main thing, they still perform a critical role for the show. He is in high demand because he is very talented and very happy in his role. The same was true for Jesus’ warm up band.

Enter John the Baptist.  He was Jesus’ cousin.  He knew he was not God, he was however, the last prophet to appear before Christ’s ministry.  He was direct, he was rough and he had no intention of being the main stage band. He knew his job was to change the mind of the people to prepare for the Lord’s coming.  He told the folks to repent and follow God.  He chided the religious leaders for their lack of insight on the times and their people.  He simply told the truth and drew the masses that needed to repent. He could have easily fallen prey to popularity and tried to become the star—but, he knew that was not his role.

We also need to know we are not the main stage band.  We need to direct our lives in a way that sets the stage for God and for Christ in our lives. We need to be glad that we are not center stage and the star—that role requires too much humility and sacrifice.  We simply need to  walk in a way that brings honor and glory to the lord.  As we do, he lifts us up and provides for our needs.  Help me Lord, to rock the house for you!

God Bless You

3 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”[a]

4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.