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A Great Man Doubts

The Verdict / John Munro
The Truth Network Radio
October 12, 2020 10:47 am

A Great Man Doubts

The Verdict / John Munro

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The previous church. One of the deacons made the point to see me in my office at church, and the other end of the meeting which lasted, I suppose, for 45 minutes or so she was leaving he looked at my library my many books and the Boulder book from the shelf which was on the resurrection of Jesus, and he surprised me by asking this question, he said to me. I often wondered if Jesus really rose from the dead.

What do you think was taken aback by the question, particularly as he spent the last almost criticizing one of the churches ministries but I replied I certainly did believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and that is one of the great foundational truths of Orthodox Christianity.

But Paul as he describes the gospel in first Corinthians 15 says that Christ died for their sins, was buried, and rose again. According to the Scriptures and I offered to discuss the question with them. I offered to lend them the book of the resurrection that he picked up and he simply shook his head and left my office. There was a church leader a deacon in the church involved in ministry, member of the church for many years but on his own admission had doubts about the resurrection of Jesus was in the first episode starts one of Jesus disciples promise also Doug did the resurrection of Jesus. You may recall I do to have special appearance on the resurrected Christ before Thomas could explain with this magnificent statement, my Lord and my God yes he believed that not only did Christ died for his sins and was voted but bodily rose from the dead ask you this morning.

Do you have any doubts about the Christian faith dilutes the resurrection idea dilutes that this book, the Bible is in fact the word of God jeopardizing the Jesus is the only way of salvation. Do you ever wondered really is Jesus really God relatives her faith sometimes waivers and falters and doubts arise.

These dogs can be very helpful if they cause us humbly to look for answers.

If he calls us to re-examine our faith is what one ancient theologian called the son the other side of Doug just doubts can be helpful if they drive us to look for solid unwise answers in our passage today, we can deal with a man who had doubts.

He was a great man a wonderful man, a man who had a unique ministry in the redemptive purposes of the gospel.

We met this man before his name is John the Baptist. In chapter 10 as we saw over the last couple of weeks. Jesus is sending out his disciples with the gospel and warning them of serious persecution of hostility and I really know about a man of a faithful man who was imprisoned because of his fearless preacher, but in prison is doubts about who Jesus is as open our Bibles to Matthew chapter 11 is were going through the gospel of Matthew consecutively on these largely mornings I'm going to read. First of all, the first three verses of Matthew chapter 11, when Jesus had finished instructing his 12 disciples. That's chapter 10. He went on from there to teach and preach in their cities notice that the priority of Jesus was not to perform miracles he did that is priority was to teach and preach about it today.

Can I say which characterized the early church, and which also should collect the rise of the true church to preach and teach first to know when John Howard in prison about the deeds of the Christ. This is the first time since Matthew chapter 2 that Matthew is use the word Christ Messiah. He began his gospel by saying that Jesus is the Christ. When the wise men come in Matthew two they are wondering where the Christ, where the Messiah is born about here again. Matthew refers through the voice of John to say regarding Jesus. He describes him as the deeds of the Christ, the Messiah, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another John has doubts as to say we met John the Baptist before the member he came preaching in the wilderness. His message was clear. His message was authoritative. His message was Sgt. What was his message repents for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. What a message God's voice is aware being silent for 400 years and now comes a prophet invite the greatest of the prophets, and declares with great urgency with great passion repents the kingdom of heaven is at hand. He's dressed like a prophet is wearing a garment were told of gums, his hair is got a belt around his waist is rather strange catatonia lives in the wilderness he eats locusts and wild honey and many responded to his message and came to the river Jordan. As they confess their sins and were baptized.

But John of course did not want just to know what profession even when the people just to go through some kind of ritual the others them to demonstrate that they had truly got right with God by bearing fruit. He says in keeping with repentance. What was John doing well in fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy John was preparing the way of the Lord is the forerunner he's the advance man the Lord is coming and John is going ahead of them to prepare the way John is the inestimable privilege of baptizing Jesus in the Jordan would've been amazing to be there.

The Lord standing in the river Jordan John is going to baptize them and does baptize them in the heavens open and God the father speaks this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. John was there John Herbert John also saw the dove coming representing discredited and lighting upon Jesus was there. He saw the parent.

The voice of God in this really goodbye John this amazing character. One of his outstanding characteristics is his humility. John was not the kind of preacher that promoted himself even want to be, we would say in contemporary times. They want to be a celebrity. No, he realized that he was a voice you'll see a voice. Jesus is described as the word you see a word but John is a voice crying in the wilderness as life is not about himself know he keeps pointing people to someone else, namely our Lord Jesus Christ and says in John three, he must increase Jesus and I must decrease. Jesus must become more important and I must become less important. A good lesson for all preachers a good lesson for everyone. Jesus is all important on merely the voice crying in the wilderness and this we heard through the song that Brian sang as we meeting reminder this morning is great. Ministry is the point people to Jesus and say hello. The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Your John got his disciples's swallowers sends a signal is not about me.

I wanted to look at someone else, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. What a magnificent man a lovely man, fearless preacher man who comes filled with the spirit, but no is imprisoned and in prison. He has doubts that that investor when John had in prison about the deeds of the Messiah. I think of the John is a man who loves the open-air man's mind.

He lived in the wilderness and now because he had the courage even to go to King Herod and to challenge him about his mortal life know he's confined in the dark dungeon, which must've been very very depressing to man who love the sun and the open air, but some some of you as I have been the one in one of her trips to Israel and Jordan that we saw the dungeon that we saw the prison where John was there. There is some present day Jordan and that to the right hand side of the screen to the right hand side of the road. I was and then let their and that is the fortress and Josephus says that is what John the Baptist was imprisoned is on the side of the Dead Sea is a say in present day Jordan and we visited the we walked up that road and looked inside to the dungeon terrible place. John is this magnificent ministry when it comes to a very abrupt end.

So the young man. He's in his early 30s and in prison hears about the deeds of the Christ. Yes, the ministry of Jesus is continuing hears from his disciples, but now he says is either then the he's not one of the 12 been sent out by Jesus through to preach and to perform medicos is in the dark dungeon in a far because it just seems so unfair doesn't it for the role. John had preached the judgment was coming to preach about the facts related to the root of the trees but where was the acts of judgment.

It didn't seem that God's judgment was not coming on people repented. Where was the kingdom of heaven. He had preached the kingdom of heaven is at hand. He saw the kingdom of heaven was going to comment Jesus but there was no sign of it what what was happening. Doubts license and for your life is kinda close. Then you become in the dark, perhaps depressed, discouraged because of events which are of your control and you start asking these questions. Notice the question John house that was a it was a very insightful question you got right to the heart of the matter. There are three art when you come to Jesus asking this question is thousands disciples, are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another is Jesus really the Messiah is usually the Christ.

After all, the Messiah is meant to set up his kingdom on earth is meant to bring deliverance to those in prison and I am still in prison. There's no sign of the Messiah, so is Jesus really Messiah are the get it wrong to the look for someone else. A man, a great man starts John is there's no series of Jesus commendation verse four just listen. Jesus answers so beautifully and ask how you would answer if one of your brothers or sisters darts Jesus answered no one tell John what you hear and see the blind receive their sight on the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf ear on the dead raised up and the poor have good news preached to them, and blessed is the one who is not offended by me as they went away. Jesus began to speak to the crowds was just out there think first of all of Jesus answers to the disciples of John.

Notice what Jesus does not do. Jesus does not condemn or criticize John. In the case that we who are followers of Christ must to shame. Sometimes a quick we pass judgment on people sometimes without even knowing all of the facts.

How quick we are to criticize how critical quick we are to malign the often good people, often behind their backs with his Jesus. The Jesus points to the evidence that he is Christ that he is in fact the long promised Messiah.

How do you do that while the old testament prophets said that when the Messiah comes, he would open the eyes of the blind in the ears of the dead illustrate that for example in Isaiah 35. Nowhere in the Old Testament do we read of a blind man receiving a site just think if someone came to Calgary was blind from birth and I could give them sites you you be pretty impressed, but I would be incredible. Jesus did several times, but here's the prophet Isaiah know he's writing 750 years before the birth of the Messiah.

Isaiah 35 verse four say to those who have an anxious heart and when anxious today.

Be strong for your knots will hold your God will come with vengeance with the recompense of God, he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened and the ears of the deaf and stopped.

Then shall the only man leap like a deer on the tongue of the new sing for joy for waters break forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert and then Isaiah 61 chapter 61. Towards the end of Isaiah's prophecy, Isaiah 61 verse one the spirit of the Lord is upon me, there's going to be quoted in the Gospels, the spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor you sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and the opening of the prison to those who bone. What does Jesus say verse four go and tell John what you hear and see that is the teaching of Jesus and the mighty deeds of Jesus. The medicals of Jesus authenticate that he is the true Messiah. Anyone can say that the Messiah anyone can make a claim was another thing to authenticated by your teaching and by your healing and that's exactly what Jesus says, tell John listen, the blind see, the lame walk, lepers or clients here if I could gather raise and that the poor of the gospel preached to them know there is no question that Jesus is the son of God that he is a true Messiah. Here is the evidence you are good you've seen it go and tell John what you hear and see in verse six the blessing comes to those who are not offended but rather have personal faith in Jesus the Messiah and then Jesus commendation of John to the cards. First, he speaks to his disciples that he speaks to the crowds.

Verse seven and as they went away. John's disciples, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John is going to speak about a man who has doubts man who is in prison questioning whether he is the Messiah.

Was he going to say to the crowds. What did you go out in the wilderness to see reads shaken by the wind. What did you like to see a man dressed in soft clothing all those who wear soft clothing on incurring sizes then did you going to see a profit. Yes, I tell you I'm more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, Jesus is quoting Malachi 3 verse one behold, I send my messenger before your face will prepare your way before you. Truly I say to you among those born of woman that has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence and the violent take it by force. For all the law all the profits on the law prophesied until John. And if you're willing to accept it. He is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear that magnificent commendation of a man starts, Jesus challenges the Crowds Then Regarding John Ave., John Sigman, if you will note in the wilderness to see John what did you think of John then I did you see a kind of fickle, wimpy kind of individual or outreach shaken by the wind was in the kind of preacher Jesus as the card was in the kind of preacher that changed his message at their suits.

The people like the politician who sees recent polls and sees the way society is going on. Then says well this is what I believe was I kind of like kind of attitudes characteristic of John reads shaken by the way, in the someone who changes his message to make it popular to their crimes. As I kind of pleasant note. You know he was dressed as a prophet, and John came in the spirit of Elijah.

He comes in the very fulfillment of the Old Testament prophets. Yes he is my forerunner is a prophet out the prophet was at the very top of the spiritual hierarchy, but John Jesus says is in fact more than a prophet more than a prophet greater than the Provident and in your reading yes is Jesus.

In fact, among those born of woman that is not risen a greater the John the Baptist statement of all the great men and women. The field Abraham and Isaac turns Jacob and Rachel and Ruth and Moses and King David himself.

Yes, but John is greater than all of the water commendation say what way is John the Baptist greater than all of the other prophets of always he better than a prophet prepares the way for Jesus. Yes, the prophets made prophecies through the types and shadows that is true, but when John problems. He points directly to the Christ.

He points directly to Jesus and says not that one is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He is the unique forerunner of Jesus, who points everyone to God, salvation, and in that way. He is greater than all of his previous answers. .4 privileges. John members of the families over this minutes from his mother's womb. This is the man starts and then Jesus say something remarkable, almost unbelievable. Did you catch it.

Verse 11 again, truly I say to you among those born of woman that has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one the one who is the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And what way is the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven greater than John the Baptist will John is the end of the law and the prophets. Verse 13 for all the prophets on the law prophesied until John. John is at the end of the age, the end of the age of the prophets and the law. John stands at the transition of the old age and the New Age descends at the point of transition between the old covenant and the new covenant yes but with the coming of Jesus. What are we relearning what is Matthew been teaching us with the coming of Jesus something radical, something totally different has come.

The new wine has come a new age has gone the age of the kingdom of God and age which will never ends the eternal kingdom of God has come in the person of Jesus. What does it mean when John said and Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Why because Jesus is the King's King Jesus not only King of the Jews went King of Kings and Lord of lords and the new covenant is greater than the old covenant. Those in the new covenant who's in the new covenant. This is encouraging is if you're in the frantic folder of Jesus you are you covenant you are in the kingdom of heaven, and that we are adopted into God's family that we are empowered by the Holy Spirit and think of this we witness with even greater clarity than John the Jesus is the Lamb of God.

Why because we are on the other side of Calvary and we have the fullness of revelation was John didn't have. We know that the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, John said he's going to take away the sin of the world. We know that through his death, his burial, and resurrection he has taken away the sin of the world and that we who have responded to this magnificent offer of salvation in Jesus entirely of grace we enter into that kingdom, that kingdom which will last for ever and ever.

And in that way. We greater the John the Baptist. Even if you're the simplest way least in the kingdom of heaven. In some churches, someone would shout hallelujah is is is is you grasping this brothers in the fullness of Revelation we know what Jesus has done and is doing for us.

We who are his disciples. We are the lights parting train people to Christ. What an incredible privilege that we have that through the grace of God we are greater than John the Baptist and what is our task as to be a light to shine for Christ parting people and say to people. Here is our magnificent Savior, the only Savior of the world is that opposition of courses opposition we saw that in the last two weeks of John, chapter and other great opposition as some of you have experience that perhaps this week as you've shared your faith that people reject you. The people ridicule you that people say no all kinds of things that you notice verse 12 from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence on the violent take it by force. Yes, that is, violent opposition of evil seeking to take the kingdom by violence is under attack yes and that violence will continue. John himself is soon going to be executed through the flame of a dancing girl.

John's voice the magnificent voice that cried out in the wilderness, his head is going to be cut off his message is going to be silenced. The kingdom of God is suffering violence, and of course our Lord Jesus Christ is going to be taken by evil hands is going to go through a mockery of a trial is going to be beaten is going to be scourged is going to be spied on and eventually is going to be crucified. Yes, the kingdom suffers violence, but the kingdom shall prepare prevail. Jesus says of any gates of hell shall not prevail against it. But with the cards response to people respond to this rather sadly verse 16 through 19.

But to what shall I compare this generation is the generation is listening to Jesus is like people, children sitting in the marketplace and calling to the playmates. We played the flute for you and you did not dance. We sang Adar judges did not mourn for John came neither eating or drinking, and they say he has a demon, the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say we had him a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners. Yet wisdom is justified by her dates because respond. Some people just never satisfied generation of Jesus is likened to children playing a game in the marketplace. They play the floats, but people don't dance everything a dirge, people don't normally do want to dance. They don't want to mourn, was appointed John is the ascetic is living in the desert eating locusts and wild honey. People size them for garden and said went so far as to say here the demon.

Jesus is different. On the other hand, Jesus, the Son of Man comes anything I drinking the say on the cards criticize him as a drunkard is a glutton. The criticize John because of the way he lives criticize Jesus and the way he lives. John the withdrawn individual.

Jesus is a friend of tax collectors and sinners. People object to John's Astaire message of repentance and object to Jesus message of grace and compassion and love and celebration. Some people are always finding fault and some people will never ever be satisfied wherever you say to whoever you explain the gospel either. So criticism runs. This was true even then, but wisdom.

Verse 19 wisdom is justified by the deeds that is received, the reality of wisdom of truth by the actions of John and Jesus abound starts masculine to what you write your notes. Do you have doubts about Jesus as he described it is the strategy that is the Messiah. He described it as a great teacher about 15 he receives the letter mail listen to the words of Jesus reflect on that see him in action. He heals and raises the dead, and furthermore, although he is mighty in power. Although he is God incarnate that can with our spoken word to bring peace to the lake, yet also is a friends of tax collectors and sinners. I don't know who anyone from the IRS here if we are, you probably want to keep anonymous, I don't know if we ready tax collectors.

I do know that with a big bunch of sinners today.

On July the sinners.

Listen live stream. Think of this Almighty God the holy God is described as a friends of sinners, we sometimes sing with a friend we have in it. It's one thing to know someone is one thing to work with someone.

It's another thing to be described as a friend of so-and-so think of this, Jesus is my friend, is a judgment when we know you are far from perfect Detroit it's true, I'm a sinful man but Jesus is my friend, this is the message of the gospel with God comes to us You have your doubts, your faith falters, you fall into sin, sometimes your corrupt tax collector. Devious businessperson listen, Jesus is a friend of tax collectors and sinners and he loves you. Once you but you sitting over there.

Jesus loves you is wonderful in the Jesus that said loft is friends John the Baptist was you to do to receive them as your Savior. After he left his lady then died for your sins on the view that a follower of Christ afresh to embrace him. What was John's basic problem think you know what it was.

It's the same problem we have.

When doubts and fears and anxieties and what is come into our lives. There was John and I wanted to make sure his committee was self pitying. One could have excused him if he was a little better what you do on what my to do when these doubts and fears and anxieties and what is coming into our lives out anything that because of covert and other things that the level of anxiety in our society is gone now but you know there's a people are enough covert 19 and this is an irrational kind of feel. Yes, we understand it is certainly a disease and want to be careful but to live in fear the Christian to live in fear. What's the problem with this while we spend more time talking about her problems and looking at her tough problems rather than hearing Jesus and looking at Jesus, what was our Lord's answer his basic answer to John's disciples again.

Verse four go and tell John what you hear and see. That's the answer that's the answer to your doubts that's the answer brother to these fears that you have that anxiety that is gripping you and keeps you awake at night. This is the answer here Jesus listen to Jesus open his word and listen to his voice and get your eyes not not on your tough circumstances not on the darkness not on the prison not done on the injustice on the unfairness of it all. Yes life is often unfair life is often unjust.

That is true, but this is a Christian response. Here Jesus listen to Jesus the human driver over dogsled team is an interesting relationship with these dogs. Using these dogsled themes with the man never been on one, but must be magnificent in his say half a dozen dogs and his relationship with these dogs is a intriguing one because the dog snow storm is coming. They can sense it is a dog snow if they're being followed the dog know those if the animal has gone over the trail, even a day or two before, but there's a lot we don't know when they leave home. These dogs, they don't know whether they're going to go a mile 5 miles, 10 miles, 30 miles hundred miles runners can imagine you're just running and you will know how long you been around when I did cross country we we knew it was about five or 6 miles you're going to run, but I can imagine just since justice thing are you going around and you're going to keep on running.

That's exactly what I don't. They keep running and running and running and running and there's no way that the that the human driver can safely dogs are today were going to take it easy. We just want you to was only going to be a Miler to know dogs have no idea, but the people running the cable running in the keep running to the dogs up to trust the driver side relationship between the dogs and the man in life we don't know what lies ahead. John didn't know what lines he's going to get his head cut off.

He didn't know that this time you'll know what lies ahead.

And you don't know the speed with which events in our lives will unfold is mature that something can happen very quickly in our life does not in a split second, your life can be turned upside down and sometimes it takes a few weeks or months. We just don't know the speed with which events unfold in our life and we certainly don't know how far it is to the finish line. You don't know how long you're going to live and I don't know how long I'm going to live.

I don't know the Lord Jesus is going to come today or is going to come in 100 years. So I believe it's very soon, but I don't know, but calls know for doubts for fears but for trusting her magnificent Savior. He has infinite wisdom, infinite strength, and he is my friend he loves me and he loves you intimately. More than any other human beings and around you today. Things may be very, very dark as John felt in that dark dungeon I could imagine spending a day or two night dungeon finalize being thrown into its no light, no sentence given you just said you don't know what happened in the darkness and the problems of life and the injustices of life and health family difficulties that come into all of our lives dilutes anxieties and fears are very normal and is a great man. It's here. The problem was and cried out to call said why in question, which was the answer here Jesus go tell John what you hear and see you Jesus see Jesus he's in control and all is well. Jeremy God is in control. The Lord Jesus is in control is no need to panic. There is no need to fear if you're a follower of Jesus Christ.

Your life is in the hands of God. Precious times, powerful hands, loving hands, do not fear nowhere on earth do we hear and see Jesus more fully more intimately more joyfully more trusting fully as I worked in here at the Lord's table become to the table of the Lord, what would what we doing were listening to Jesus do this in remembrance of me were looking at Jesus looking for Jesus the author and the perfecter of our faith need to get my eyes all these difficulties will depress me though because fear will cause anxiety. I need to hear Jesus I need to look up and I need once again to hear what John says whole Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

We will hold for me, but in prayer.

Perhaps not. Perhaps, I know some of you have never yet come to Christ, we come to him, frightened Savior, Redeemer Lord God triumphant over the grave. We come to trust others of you are believers in Jesus Christ, but you need a freshly hear from Jesus, you need to hear his words were going to sing in a minute.

This sold him one all to take it to heart. Just as I though tossed about with many conflicts, many darkness. John the Baptist tossed about with many conflicts. Many diet fighting and fears within without lamb of God, I come, I come and pray there more sickly to say goodbye to her lifestream audience and then those of us in the century going to break. Father, we thank you for our Savior made all of us to hold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Christ name we pray

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