TEXT: Matthew 11:7-15
7 And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.
9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Ken Sande said, “The world defines success in terms of what a person possesses, controls, or accomplishes. God defines success in terms of faithful obedience to His will.”
When J. Wilbur Chapman was in London, he had an opportunity to meet General Booth, who at that time was past eighty years of age. Dr. Chapman listened reverently as the old general spoke of the trials and the conflicts and the victories. Then the American evangelist asked the general if he would disclose his secret for success.
“He hesitated a second,” Dr. Chapman said, “and I saw the tears come into his eyes and steal down his cheeks, and then he said, ‘I will tell you the secret. God has had all there was of me. There have been men with greater brains than I, men with greater opportunities; but from the day I got the poor of London on my heart, and a vision of what Jesus Christ could do with the poor of London, I made up my mind that God would have all of William Booth there was. And if there is anything of power in the Salvation Army today, it is because God has all the adoration of my heart, all the power of my will, and all the influence of my life.’”
Dr. Chapman said he went away from that meeting with General Booth knowing that, “the greatness of a man is the measure of surrender.”
By way of background and introduction, the Bible Knowledge Commentary said, “John’s question prompted Jesus to give a discourse to the crowd. Perhaps some began to wonder about John’s commitment to the Messiah in light of his question. So Jesus explained that John was not weak and vacillating. He was not a papyrus reed that could be shaken by every breeze that blew. Nor was he a man dressed in fine clothes, the kind worn in kings’ palaces. In fact John the Baptist wore the opposite. John was a true prophet who proclaimed the message that God demanded repentance. In fact he was even more than a prophet, for he, in fulfillment of Malachi 3:1, was Jesus’ own messenger or forerunner. Mark in his Gospel combined this prophecy from Malachi 3:1 with Isaiah’s prophecy concerning the one who would prepare Jesus’ way. Jesus added that of all men who had lived on earth, none was greater than John the Baptist. And yet one who is least in the kingdom will be greater than John. The privileges of Jesus’ disciples sharing in the kingdom will be far greater than anything anyone could experience on earth. But the kingdom had been subject to violence and evil men were trying to take it by force. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day (forceful men) were resisting the movement introduced by John, Jesus, and the apostles. Forcefully advancing could be rendered in the passive, “is violently treated.” (The verb lay hold of means “to grasp” in the sense of resisting or laying claim to it on their own). Those leaders wanted a kingdom, but not the kind Jesus was offering. So they were resisting the message and attempting to establish their own rule. But John’s message was true, and if the nation would accept it, and consequently accept Jesus, John would fulfill the prophecies of Elijah. Only if they accepted the message would John the Baptist be the Elijah who was to come. Because the nation rejected the Messiah, Elijah’s coming is still future.”
In our last message, we finished looking at what we are to do when we struggle with doubt. We also looked at the blessing that is in store if we remain faithful to Jesus and are not be embarrassed of Him before the world.
After Jesus told John’s disciples what message to convey to reassure John the Baptist in his doubt, He turned His attention to the others standing around Him to reassure them of John the Baptist’s importance and greatness. Here are some lessons we can learn from this passage about God’s view of greatness as opposed to the worldly view of greatness. Here are three reasons why John was the G.O.A.T.
First, John the Baptist was the G.O.A.T. because he stood firm in his message. John was not a reed shaken by every wind of doctrine that came by. He preached the message that God gave Him every time. It did not matter whether the prevailing winds were composed of praise from the crowds who heard Him preach, or whether he was caught in the storm of fury from the Jewish leaders and King Herod, John stood like a resolute pillar of stone. When it comes to doing God’s will for our lives, we cannot be swayed by either the praise or disapproval of the crowd. In the eternal long-run, we will lose nothing by standing firm on God’s message and will for our lives.
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 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” 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.