57. John sends messengers to inquire of Jesus- Matt. 11:2-19, Luke 7:18-35
-Jesus explains to John’s disciples that were sent by him how there were many proofs that He indeed was the Expected One (the Messiah). Jesus quotes Isaiah 35:5 and Isaiah 61:1 as evidence of His authenticity. He tells the crowd that “blessed is he who does not take offense at Me (Matthew 11:7, Luke 7:23).” Then as John’s disciples were going away He expounds on the ministry of John and his role, which was more than a prophet in the spirit of Elijah (Malachi 3:1). John prepared the way before Christ in leading the willing and believing to repentance from their sins and faith in the Messiah. However, Jesus addressed the unbelief of the Pharisees of that generation in a poignant way (Matthew 11:16-19, Luke 7:30-35). The unbelieving are presented the radical holiness and self denying example of John and the inclusive nature of the Christ, yet they rejected both. This is the point Jesus made with His analogy to the flute with no dancing and the dirge with no mourning (Matthew 11:17, Luke 7:32). Jesus said in the end that wisdom is vindicated by her deeds (Matthew 11:19) and children (Luke 7:35). *Application* Again we see the fruitful consequences of inner change when Christ comes in and changes a person because of their humility, faith, and willingness to be transformed. Today, do not harden your heart and make excuses, false rationalizations, or complaints that will keep you from His wisdom and truth. God presents His truth in a variety of ways to appeal to each and every individual. See His evidence!
Verse to Memorize- Matthew 11:11
58. The strong man- Matt. 12:23-29, Mark 3:22-27, Luke 11:15-22
-The Pharisees and pious Jews were calling Jesus Beelzebul (literally lord of the flies, dunghill god) trying to say that He was demonic and satanic. Jesus knew their thoughts (proof of His deity, wisdom, and observation skills) and refuted their false claims. A house divided against itself will fail and fall. It is only by a stronger force, the Strong Man, that evil is conquered and vanquished. It makes no logical sense for Satan to fight against his own schemes and devices. Jesus says if He casts out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has come upon them (Matthew 12:28, Luke 11:20). *Application* The Pharisees and unbelievers will make every excuse not to accept the things of God even when they are presented in factual and rational form. Keep using wisdom in your contention for the faith that the Lord by His Spirit will give you even as Christ had. He will give you the answer to every critic, so don’t ever be anxious (Luke 12:11-12, 2 Corinthians 5:12, Jude 1:3). If they accused Jesus, they will also accuse you. Prepare in prayer.
Verse to Memorize- Matthew 12:28