Matthew 11:1-6 – Is This Jesus Christ, Son of God, Thing for Real?

Posted: December 9, 2015 in Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 11:1-6
John the Baptist Has Doubts

In ministry, we sometimes have doubts and we have an example of that right here in this passage, Matthew 11:1-6, that we read today. As believers, we sometimes have doubts. John the Baptist was no different from you and I in that regard. Let’s read what the Scripture says,

11 After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.[a]

2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[b] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
We sometimes go through periods of doubt when it comes to our walk with Jesus Christ. Just look at John here. He was in prison. He was rotting away and never would see the light of day again. He was suffering and he knew he would most likely be killed by Herod. When we have times of trouble, we often doubt whether this whole Jesus thing is for real or not. Jesus reminds John the Baptist that there is ample evidence that Jesus is who He says He is. We must listen to these words and take hold of them, particularly in times of trouble. There are several things that we can take away from this. First, we know from historical evidence that Jesus existed. Second, we must have faith that He is who He says He is and will not forsake us even if we are in times of trouble and doubt. Third, Jesus invites our doubt because it is when we have nothing else to rely on that we can draw closer to him.

First, Jesus is indeed for real. We know from extrabiblical sources that Jesus existed. He was indeed a man who walked the earth. There are references in both Jewish and Roman historical records of a man named Jesus. Therefore, we do not believe in some mythical figure. We know for a fact that Jesus existed. Even other religions acknowledge his existence and have a position on him (regardless of whether they see Jesus as God’s Word tells us to see Him – all other religions feel compelled to have a position on Jesus). Even atheists admit that there is a preponderance of evidence that Jesus existed. That the New Testament books were never disputed as to Jesus’ existence (they were published while people who lived during the Jesus era were still alive). Jesus is for real. It is commonly accepted worldwide by all religions and even non-believers that Jesus existed. We believe in a for-real Jesus. We can have reasonable assurance that Jesus was a man who existed in history. No figments of imagination. No mythological tales. For real, historical Jesus! The rub comes, of course, as to his origin. I can argue of the veracity of Jesus’ existence as a man but it takes faith to believe that Jesus was the Son of God come to earth in human form. It takes faith to believe that because of this fact that Jesus is the one and only way to exist eternally in the presence of God. That Jesus performed miracles, I can logically argue with you that the enemies of Christianity would have balked and raised cain when the New Testament books first started circulating. The enemies of the Christian faith were still alive when these books (letters) started circulating among believers. That no one was able to quell these books and their content concerning Jesus miracles is evidence of the truth of the miracles. However, it takes faith to truly believe that it was because Jesus was the Son of God that these miracles took place. Jesus existed. I believe through faith that He was the Son of God. I have reasonable belief that He is who He says He is. But sometimes, with this solid evidence we have doubts if the truth of Jesus Christ is covering us.

John was rotting in prison. If there is ever a time to doubt it is when things seem the bleakest. Am I doing the right thing? Is Jesus really caring about what is happening to me? Is Jesus as the Son of God thing for real? We all have doubts. Do you think that the rape victim questions whether Jesus is really the Son of God in the face of that trouble? Yes. Do you think that the umemployed person living on the street questions whether Jesus is for real as the Son of God or not? Yes. Do you think that the wife whose husband leaves her for a younger woman and leaves her with the small children questions whether Jesus as the Son of God thing is real? Yes. Even say if you are desiring in your heart to be a full-time pastor and it is just not happening fast as you want, sometimes we question whether this Jesus thing is for real or not? Even full-time pastors going through troubles in their church, in their financial struggles, in their leadership, sometimes question. All of us have doubts at times. Just because you have doubts does not mean that you have lost your faith or your salvation. Sometimes, circumstances put us all in a place of doubt. Sometimes, the mere fact that we cannot see God and touch Him and feel Him makes us doubt. Does this mean you are not a true believer? No, of course, not. As we have stated above, our faith is a reasonable faith etched in the backdrop of verifiable human history. It is not fantasy. It is for real. So, it is a faith that welcomes questions. It is a faith that invites you to have doubts. It is when we have doubts that we investigate. We question. We look under the rocks. Our faith is not the Wizard behind the curtain creating false beliefs that something is real when it is not. Our faith can stand up to any question and any doubt that you have. Jesus has not forsaken you. He wants you to question Him. He is who He says He is and wants you to dig deeper. Some think that the farther you dig into Christianity the less you will believe in it but the opposite always proves to be true. The more we know about our faith the greater our faith becomes. Why do I say all this? It is in times of trouble that we question God the most. It is here in the troubled times of doubt that Jesus invites you to question and invites you to have a deeper faith. Seek the answers to your doubts. Jesus has the answer and will give it to you. Seek Him. He will through the Holy Spirit lead you to understanding Him and hold to Him even in the darkest times of doubt and fear.

Jesus wants us to get into those positions of doubt at times. When we have doubts, it is often because we have lost reliance on worldly things. We have lost reliance that things are not working out the way WE planned. That’s where our doubts of the reality of Jesus often come from. We have these preconceived notions that our will and the will of God are one and the same. We often mistake what we want as the will of God. We want things our way by nature. We want it our way and think when things are going the way we want them to that we are in God’s will for our lives. Often we then by that same logic begin to doubt when things do not go the way we planned or wanted them to go. It is here doubt creeps in. It is here that it revealed that the way we want things to go is often not the way God had things planned. It is here that we have doubt. It is here that we have our crossroads. It is here that we can rail our fist at God for things not going the way we want or truly learn something about the nature of God. Even in the worst of circumstances, we have the opportunity to shed ourselves of our worldly thinking and begin to seek God. Begin to seek understanding of what He is leading us toward even in the worst of circumstance. Even in the worst of circumstances, we often have to learn complete and utter dependence on Jesus. It is in times of doubt where everything we have known and understood in this worldly existence no longer can explain or make sense of the world. It is then that we learn true dependence on God. It is then that we can grow deeper in Jesus. Jesus stands ready to have your full allegiance. He wants all of you. He wants you to depend on Him even when things seem darkest. He wants you to hold on to His hand when that’s all you can do. He wants you to have faith that He can get you through your darkest hour and give you hope in the midst of it. He wants you to truly believe in Him like for real this time!
Have doubts? Jesus is the for real answer. He existed. He invites your questions. He can show you how He really existed and really is the Son of God. Reach out through your doubts to the Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, God in the flesh, who died for your sins and mine. It’s the real thing. Believe it. Have faith in it!

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