Wednesday, August 16, 2017

DO YOU HAVE DOUBTS..? By Nina Keegan


 MATTHEW 11:11
(Jesus talking about John the Baptist)

11 “I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!

Jesus describes John as the greatest man that ever lived… And yet John himself while in prison, had doubts if Jesus even was the Messiah…
What had caused John to waver in his belief?

We all can have doubts from time to time when our faith has been shaken... when trauma  and turmoil rock our world, it can cause us to cry out and ask, "Is any of this real… "God are you really there for me?"
"Do you even know where I am on the map?"

Well my friends, you are in good company, we have all been there at one time or another… When our circumstances cause our knees to buckle... perhaps those times are the times that we've taken our eyes off of Jesus and put them on our circumstances… Even John the Baptist has a moment like this…

There's no getting around it, John the Baptist was extremely unique, he was described as a wild man…he wore odd clothes, ate strange food… And he preached an unusual message even out in the wasteland... he did not live extravagantly… He was given a mission and he aimed at complete obedience.

This wild looking man was given an amazing role to play in the world, he was to announce the coming of our Savior… He was relentless in putting all he had into this monumental task.
Since his birth it was announced that John would be set apart for the service of God and John never wavered in being faithful to that call.

His job was not easy, he was fearless and preached the theme of repentance… Even though he was given remarkable responsibilities, God did not guarantee him an easy life..He was uncompromising...
He even challenged Herod to admit his sin which caused him to wind up in prison.

John baptized Jesus and heard an audible voice from the Father saying that this was his son in whom he was well pleased… He witnessed the dove as representation of the Holy Spirit..
He witnessed much more as the Scriptures from John state:

The Father used John the Baptist to bear witness to Jesus (5:33-35). The Father used Jesus’ works (miracles) which He gave Jesus to do to bear witness of Him (5:36). The Father used the Scriptures to bear witness of Jesus (5:37-47). Since all of these witnesses line up, the case for Jesus is solid: He is the Christ, the Son of God (20:31).

So John knew his mission since birth ...he would be the one to announce the coming of Jesus. He baptized Jesus and witnessed many miracles… And yet while in his prison cell… He began to doubt…

In John's time, He did not have a Bible as we have today but he had read the Scriptures on the scrolls(Old Testament)  and had read what the prophets long before the time of Jesus, had prophesied about His coming as it says in Isaiah...

Isaiah 35:5-6
 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. 6 Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert..

John studied and understood these truths, this was the basis of what he proclaimed in his mission of declaring the coming of the Messiah... 
 He knew Jesus… He loved Jesus… He witnessed the miracles of Jesus… And yet....

Doubts came!

When he was in his trial… When he was in the middle of the circumstances of life… When he was in prison… His Faith was shaken to the core..

Matthew 11:2-3
John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, "are you the Messiah we've been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?"

His doubts were clear.. if his purpose was to prepare the people for the coming Messiah and if Jesus really was that Messiah, then why was John in prison when he could've been preaching to the crowds and preparing their hearts? 

It made him think that he had gotten it all wrong....that he had missed his call..

But this is the message Jesus sends to him...

Matthew 11:4-6
Jesus told them, go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen, "the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the good news is being preached to the poor. And tell him, God blesses those who do not turn away because of me"

Jesus was fulfilling the Scriptures from the prophet Isaiah ...

 Jesus was performing the exact miracles that John had read about in the Scriptures… 

The same miracles Isaiah  predicted the Messiah would do long before Jesus ever walked the earth… And when he sent this statement to John the Baptist in his prison... Jesus knew that John would recall that scripture and know that the prophecy was being fulfilled  by the one and only true messiah...

Jesus knew that John would understand all of this… Jesus knew that John's heart would receive this and that John would know that he had fulfilled his call in preparing hearts for the coming Messiah…   John would be content in knowing he had paved the way for Jesus and he had been obedient to his call!

Jesus knew that John's faith was weak and yet as in the scripture above; Jesus still calls John the greatest of all who have ever lived!

Oh the precious love of Jesus!! 

Prophecies were coming to life… And John had been an essential and Integral part of it!

My friends we all have a call, we all have something we were born to do… We all have a purpose in Christ… The enemy would love to cause doubt and confusion and lead us away from that call… But nothing can stop what God has ordained for your life… Live on purpose for him, be obedient to the word...
Let God's word transform you as you take up your cross and follow him… He turns all things around for the good… I pray right now that you all would have the mind of Christ… That your thoughts would be his thoughts… And that the living Word of God would be forever etched in your hearts as he leads you on the glorious path that he has for you!

God bless you all!!

Psalm 119:147

I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words.
1 John 5:13

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
Psalm 119:116

Sustain me according to Your word, that I may live; And do not let me be ashamed of my hope.
Genesis 28:15

"Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."
John 20:31

but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
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