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Wisdom’s Vindication – A Background (Matthew 11)

WISDOM’S VINDICATION

Matthew 11: 7 – 19 

Background:  Matthew 11:1 – 19

Unusual and unexpected behavior will most likely be vilified and labeled eccentric, foolish, or wrong. Both Jesus and John faced this predicament. Jesus declared that both His and John’s actions “would be proven wise by their subsequent deeds.” [1]

Opposition to Jesus has taken a turn. His rivals will make it clear in no uncertain terms their dislike for Him, His ministry, and His claims. When does this opposition to Jesus begin to ramp up?

11:1 Now when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and proclaim his message in their cities.”

When He began to teach “in their cities.”   Note – watch out when you begin to proclaim the kingdom of God in what was formerly the devil’s space. Teachers, don’t be surprised when you encounter opposition to teaching the Word.

What we are about to see are varied responses to Jesus’ actions, His sayings, and those of John a little later.

  Not Johnny!!!

John we are told is imprisoned by Herod and is facing sure death. In verses two through three we observe a man experiencing a bit of dissonance. John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Christ is questioning if Christ is the real kahuna! Say it ain’t so Brother John! Say it ain’t so!

  “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” (11:3b).

Was Jesus not living up to John’s expectations? Is John confused? John had painted such a good picture of Jesus earlier (Mat. 3:11-14).

Let’s see…..

ü  John is in prison in Machaerus. Jesus in His teachings promised He’d free the prisoners (Luke 4:18).

ü  It was prophesied that Messiah would execute vengeance upon the enemies of God (Isa. 61:2)

ü  It was prophesied that Messiah would “bring people out of the dungeon” (Isa. 42:7)

Wait a minute!!!

                “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” (11:3b).

What is your response when someone acts outside-of-our-expectations?

TAKEAWAY – When we are faced with overwhelming obstacles (given the facts)

Fact is there is no money, Fact is the marriage is falling apart, Fact is the ministry is failing…Fact is!

 The fact is John was about to die…faithful to God to the end…

If anyone should be spared, it’d be John ….right!!!

 WISDOM’S VINDICATION

Jesus’ actions and His behavior will vindicate what is seemingly contradictory

Jesus sent John a message – It’s tough, but seek the wisdom of God for this season:

“Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers[c] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me”   (Mat. 11:4-6).

With John in prison, Jesus picked up the baton and did ministry – “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Did John forget he’d said this? How we often forget things when we are facing difficulty and loss of expectations.

Kingdom living involves decreasing, so that Christ may increase!

WHAT DOES DECREASING (FOR GOD) LOOK LIKE IN YOUR WORLD?

John! I may not be what you expect Me to be, but I am surely doing the will of the Father – Look at my works!!  the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepersare cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them.

Jesus goes on to tell the disciples and all others who have doubt to remain faithful to the mission no matter what:  “Whoever doesn’t lose his faith in me is indeed blessed” (Mat. 11:6).

Try telling that to a dying man!

Defending Brother John and Himself

Of course, the question John had asked of Jesus not only showed John’s doubt of Jesus, but the question was posed in the open. This meant Jesus had to reassure the crowd about both of their ministries. Matthew 11: 7-15 will be a discourse in testimony concerning John the Baptist.  It was important to address these questions and doubts (just like he assured John of His legitimacy) because it could lead to doubting John’s message as well. If he (John) proclaimed Christ as the Messiah, the Promised One, then there could be no room for doubt.

THERE CAN BE NO ROOM FOR DOUBT IN YOUR FAITH WALK! EITHER HE IS OR HE IS!!

WE WALK BY FAITH, NOT BY FACTS!!

(ALTHOUGH FACTS HELP, WE JUST NEED PERSPECTIVE…GOD’S WISDOM ON THE MATTER).

[1] Apostolic Way, Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, (2019), 436.

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Written by Kevin A. Hall

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