Today’s passage: Matthew 11:1-19
- It is not ironic that right after Jesus spoke to His disciples of picking up their crosses and following Him that John the Baptist is reported to be in prison. (And, he is in prison because his ministry was a success!)
- Jesus comforts and assures John the Baptist by pointing his attention to the prophet Isaiah (35:5, 61:1) and encourages him to believe.
- Jesus taught the crowds who John the Baptist was:
- He was strong in his conviction (Not shaken by the wind)
- He was selfless (Not wearing “soft” clothing)
- He was more than just a prophet (Jesus quotes Malachi 3:1 and refers to Malachi 4:5-6 in calling him “Elijah”)
- The crowds were unlike John the Baptist
- They were like spoiled children (Sitting around “in the marketplace”) who complain when they don’t get what they want
- They criticized people and looked for fault when they were unwilling to accept the truth
Questions to consider:
- Why was John’s imprisonment not a failure? What was God’s mission for Him? Did he succeed?
- Do you think John the Baptist would have liked everyone talking about him? Why or why not? What was his goal?
- Will people always be kind in their response to our message?
- How does the fruit of our ministry (People’s live being changed for the glory of God) vindicate or justify the message? What is still happening even when there are other people who would not agree and fight against God? Does being mean, pointing fingers, and using big words make the Gospel not true?