TEXT: Matthew 11:1-6
1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.
2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,
3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?
4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:
5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
J.C. Ryle said, “Doubting does not prove that a man has no faith, but only that his faith is small. And even when our faith is small, the Lord is ready to help us.”
G. Campbell Morgan had already enjoyed some success as a preacher by the time he was 19 years old. But then he was attacked by doubts about the Bible. The writings of various scientists and agnostics disturbed him (e.g., Charles Darwin, John Tyndall, Thomas Huxley, and Herbert Spencer). As he read their books and listened to debates, Morgan became more and more perplexed. What did he do? He cancelled all preaching engagements, put all the books in a cupboard and locked the door, and went to the bookstore and bought a new Bible. He said to himself, “I am no longer sure that this is what my father claims it to be–the Word of God. But of this I am sure. If it be the Word of God, and if I come to it with an unprejudiced and open mind, it will bring assurance to my soul of itself.” The result? “That Bible found me!” said Morgan. The new assurance in 1883 gave him the motivation for his preaching and teaching ministry. He devoted himself to the study and preaching of God’s Word.
David Guzik wrote, “Jesus wanted to assure both John and his disciples that He was the Messiah. But He also reminded them that His power would be displayed mostly in humble acts of service, meeting individual needs, and not in spectacular displays of political deliverance. We might phrase John’s question like this: “Jesus, why aren’t You doing more?” Morgan answered this: “To all such restless impatience, He utters the same warning. For the most part, the way of the Lord’s service is the way of plodding perseverance in the doing of apparently small things. The history of the Church shows that this is one of the lessons most difficult to learn.” “Why is it that, in these days, it is said that the miracles are rather a trial of faith than a support of it? An unbelieving generation turns even food into poison.” Jesus knew that the focus of His ministry was offensive to the expectation of the Jewish people, who longed for political deliverance from Roman domination. But there was a blessing for those who were not offended because of the Messiah who came against the expectation of the people. A friend has turned these words into another beatitude – The blessedness of the unoffended. Blessed is he who can be left in prison, can be silenced in his testimony, can seem to be deserted of his Lord, and yet can shut out every doubt. John speedily regained this blessedness, and fully recovered his serenity.
In our last message, we continued looking at how John the Baptist had some seeming doubts about Jesus. As he was sitting in prison, he sent his disciples to ask Jesus if he was truly the Christ. The first thing that John the Baptist did was take it to the Lord, and we should also take our doubts to the Lord in prayer.
Look now at what Jesus directs us to do when we doubt: First, look at His miracles. We know that there are some infirmities which simply cannot be remedied. We know that those who are dead do not come back to life. Such miracles are only brought about by the power of God. Unlike some false preachers today who have people pretending to be sick on television, Jesus’ miracles were verifiable acts, but the power behind was beyond human understanding. As the parents of a blind man said in John 9, ”We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: But by what means he now seeth, we know not.” It was foretold in the Old Testament that when the Messiah came “the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.” If we believe the words of the Bible, our doubts should be cleared away.
Jesus also told John to look at the fact that the Gospel was being preached unto the poor. Imagine if the only way you could learn about Jesus was by going to a seminary which includes paying for the tuition. In first-century, Israel, those who searched the Scriptures for the prophecies of the Messiah were the upper-class rabbis and scribes. In the Old Testament, the prophets were mostly sent to bear God’s word to the kings and rulers of nations. Jesus was not to be found in the courts of royals; in fact, when he was brought before royals, He was being persecuted and put to death. It is proof of Jesus’ divine authority that He shunned affiliations with the rich and powerful, and was rather found in the houses of the poor and sinners. As spiritually poor and sinful people before God, the fact that Jesus preached the Gospel to people in our position while He was here should be something that comforts our hearts when we are tempted to doubt.
Jesus concludes with a blessing on those who are not offended in Him. Doubt is often accompanied by an ashamed attitude towards our faith. During Jesus’ lifetime, this offendedness would have been brought about Jesus’ low social status and fraternizing with Gentiles and sinners. In our modern time, our offendedness is usually brought about by an embarrassment regarding Jesus’ strict moral doctrine and the call to put Christ above all else in a society dominated by secularism. We cannot let ourselves be ashamed of Jesus, we must boldly follow in His steps, follow His teachings, and proclaim the Gospel regardless of what society thinks.
The next time you struggle with doubt, take comfort in knowing that Jesus is truly the author and finisher of our faith. There is no one else to look for. His miracles attest to His power, and the gospel attests to His purpose. If we remain strong in our faith and reject doubt, we will be blessed in the life to come.
Edward Mote wrote:
My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
When darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace;
in ev’ry high and stormy gale
my anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, his covenant, his blood
support me in the whelming flood;
when all around my soul gives way,
he then is all my hope and stay.
When he shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in him be found,
dressed in his righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.