John’s doubt, our challenge

The forerunner for the Messiah was in prison, punished for presuming to speak truth to power. Though John had pointed others to Jesus, he still had followers. These disciples reported to John all that Jesus had been doing (Luke 7:18), most notably raising a widow’s only son from the dead (Luke 7:11-17).

When John hears of these wondrous miracles, he is dismayed. He sends two disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (Luke 7:19). Perhaps John is discouraged because Jesus is doing these wonderful things and John is confined. Perhaps John was anticipating the Messiah’s work to be quickly accomplished.

Remember, this is the one who announced with such conviction, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29). It is he who received confirmation from the Father that Jesus is “the Son of God” (John 1:34). John is no stranger to the nature of the one called Jesus. But prison and possible death likely has a way of causing a person to need reassurance. Continue reading “John’s doubt, our challenge”

Rediscover the Bible

John was in prison. Jesus’ cousin was jailed by Herod, who did not appreciate what John said about his illicit marriage to Herodias. This particular Herod was known as Antipas. He reigned over Galilee and Perea.

John understood that his work was coming to an end and asked Jesus through a messenger if he was the one whose coming was foretold. Some say that during this challenging trial, John’s faith weakened. None of us are perfect, not even John. Continue reading “Rediscover the Bible”

A radical message

“…the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan River, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins…So John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, ‘You offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Therefore produce fruit that proves your repentance, and don’t begin to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our father.” For I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones! Even now the ax is laid at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.’” (Luke 3:1-9 NET)

John caused quite a stir when he began preaching and baptising. Can you imagine what that would have been like? For the past 400 years there had not been a prophet in Israel. The country had been invaded many times but no word from God. And then this ‘wild’ man began to preach what might have been considered a ‘harsh’ message. Can you imagine being called the “offspring of vipers”? Continue reading “A radical message”

What did you go to see?

John the Immerser was imprisoned by Herod Antipas about 70 miles from where Jesus was preaching.

John sent some of his disciples to ask Jesus if he was the coming one or not. No one is sure why John did this, but it is understandable since he was about to lose his head for telling the king the truth about his marriage to his brother’s wife.

After answering John’s disciples, Jesus turned to the other people and asked them a question. When they went out to the wilderness, what did they go to see (Luke 7:24-26)? Continue reading “What did you go to see?”

Are we spiritually healthy?

“From the elder, to Gaius my dear brother, whom I love in truth. Dear friend, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul. For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, just as you are living according to the truth. I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are living according to the truth.” (3 John 1:1-4 NET)

In the letter we call “3 John” we find correspondence from the writer, who identified himself as “the elder,” to a Christian named Gaius. It has long been attested that the writer was the apostle John, which would seem to be accurate. In this letter we find three men who can each tell us something about what being a Christian should look like. Continue reading “Are we spiritually healthy?”

Understanding the Gospel of John

The Gospel of John is a treasure for students of the New Testament. It can fill our days and sustain us for many years. Yet, we must develop an appreciation for what the author is trying to accomplish.

Matthew, Mark and Luke were edifying their readers and bringing souls to Jesus. However, false doctrines about Christ were arising and needed to be addressed.

Who better to do so than the man who was probably the closest to Jesus among all those on earth? (John 13:23-25). Continue reading “Understanding the Gospel of John”