“Where is My Reward?”
Luke 7:18-30 A case study on the flow of faith.
Suddenly John the Baptist is back in Luke’s narrative. _______________________________ Just like you and me, when things get tough, we wonder where is God.
We tend to believe that ministry should reap rewards – ___________________________
We tend to believe that ministry should be joyous & fruitful – ______________________
We tend to believe that people will understand and accept us – ____________________
So John shows impatience? Or is it doubt? Verse 18 & 19 give us a glimpse of John’s situation. Some of his disciples have been in the crowd following Jesus and they have returned with their report while John sets in prison. They report miracles, even raising the widow’s son from the dead. John must be thinking, “If I’m God’s chosen instrument to proclaim the Messiah why am I rotting in this cell?” So he sends two disciples to Jesus to ask a question, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
Jesus answer is two part:
Action – “That very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight.” (21)
Verbal instruction – “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dear are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.” (22)
By this way of answer Jesus allows John to make his own determination__________________ ______________________________________________________ Belief is knowledge + action.
I think this is the meaning of verse 23: “Blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” We must remember that just because we’re followers of Jesus doesn’t bring us earthly entitlement. _____________________________________________________________________________
The messengers return to John and give him their testimony. In an interesting twist, Jesus gives those who remain with Him a testimony concerning John. He uses a series of questions about what drew them to John and his ministry:
“A reed shaken by the wind” – _________________________________________________
“A man clothed in soft garments” – _____________________________________________
Now Jesus gives His witness of John. “Did you go out to see a prophet? Yes, I say to you and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before your face, who will prepare Your way before You.’ For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (26-28) Jesus quotes Malachi 3:1 __________________
So what are we to make of the “least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” _________ ____________________________________________________________________________
Immediately Luke shares the lesson of how Jesus divides.
“All the people . . . even the tax collectors justified God”. _________________________
“But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God”. _________________________
2 Peter 1:10 says, “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make our call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble.”
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