Saturday, February 25, 2017

John, Did You Know?

John 11:2-3 reads, Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, "Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?"

The Big Question that all have when reading this is, "Has John fallen into doubt?"

Does John need to be reassured by Jesus that he is actually the Christ?  I've heard so many sermons on this, with different interpretations, that I get confused as to what is going on here, but leave it to Scottish Divine David Dickson to set me straight.

1. John knows that Jesus is the Christ, and he never doubts.
2. John has followers who will not leave his side, even though he has told them to follow Jesus.  Remember, John must decrease and Jesus increase.
3. John sends them directly to the source, Jesus himself, to receive the Word and be converted from the Baptism of John to the Baptism of Christ.

His message for Jesus is not for John's benefit but for the benefit of his disciples.  He needs them to move from being followers of himself to followers of Christ.  Other things we learn from these two verses:

1. Followers of Christ are persecuted and sometimes imprisoned by the world.  Often times they are killed by the world.
2. We can still evangelize others from a place of persecution.
3. Evangelism is leading others to Christ.  This is more simple than it sounds.  We think it takes a lot of heavy lifting to lead someone to Christ, but it actually means what it says: we take people to the Word of the Lord--the Bible--and we let the Holy Spirit do the heavy lifting.  John led his disciples to Jesus, and then Jesus did the work of convincing them of his truth and changing their hearts.
4. The question is not one of believing in Christ at all.  The question is one of finding the promised messiah in Jesus.  As we read in Romans 1, all know the truth.  Many suppress the truth, but in their hearts they know there is a God and we are lost and sinful and there is a way of salvation.  We may deny these truths, but deep in our cores we believe them.  Now, the true question becomes, "where do I find this salvation?"  The answer is Jesus.  We will put our faith in everything BUT Jesus, but the only true location to put our faith is Jesus Christ, because he is the only possible way for us to be saved.