When Circumstances Get You Down

In The Word

Read: Matthew 11:1-24

John’s Questions

11 When Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their cities.

Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive 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. And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”

Jesus’ Tribute to John

As these men were going away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ palaces! But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one who is more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written,

Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You,
Who will prepare Your way before You.’

11 Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come. 15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

16 “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places, who call out to the other children, 17 and say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

The Unrepenting Cities

20 Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. 24 Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.”

New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Walking In The Word

Because of John’s continued opposition of King Herod marrying his brother’s wife, the king had John the Baptist thrown into prison. It seemed as though John’s mission was complete as there was no hope for release. His disciples told him of what Jesus’ ministry was accomplishing in the country. Then he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Expected One or should we look for another?” John the Baptist, the man who saw Jesus, the man who said, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John: 1:29), asked Jesus this question!

When John’s disciples approached Jesus and asked Him John’s question, Jesus replied, “The sick are healed, the poor are fed, and the dead are raised…” Then He told them not to let doubt or discouragement cause them to fail. Many times, individuals despair so deeply over their circumstances that they question their salvation and their Savior. It is times like these that we must be reminded of the miracles that we have already experienced. The first is our salvation; this was a miraculous event that sometimes we forget. That Jesus would call your name is the most important event of your life! When we get caught up in the situations of life, sin, and death we can lose sight of the great future that is eternal life. Now, take time to remind yourself of your salvation experience; what was the day, what brought you to the decision, how did you feel after this experience? Didn’t it change your life forever?

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