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Luke 7:18-35

Talks for Growing Christians

The Lord’s Comments on The Ministry John the Baptist

Luke 7:18-35

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Lesson Number 19

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Believers today are greater than John the Baptist.
  2. Unbelievers today are like spoiled brats.

Practical Application

  1. Let’s be children of wisdom.

Questions

  1. Where was John the Baptist at the time of this encounter?
  2. John the Baptist sent two of his disciples to ask the Lord whether He was really the Messiah or were they still waiting for the Messiah. Why was John expressing these doubts?
  3. What answer did John receive from the Lord?
  4. Why did Jesus say there was no greater prophet than John the Baptist?
  5. In what way is every Christian greater than John the Baptist?

Answers

  1. John the Baptist was in prison at Machaeus, a stronghold built by Herod the Great.
  2. John hadn’t lost faith, but things were not turning out as John expected. John had introduced Jesus as the Messiah, and probably expected him to take over as king and set up the glorious earthly kingdom predicted in the Old Testament. Now John had been arrested and Rome was still in power.
  3. The Lord quoted Messianic prophetic Scripture from Isaiah 35 and 61. In other words, He said, “Yes, I am the Messiah. The Messianic predictions are being fulfilled.” Although events were not unfolding as John envisioned, his doubts were removed.
  4. Not only was John the Baptist a man of great conviction, commitment, and sacrifice, he was greater than anyone before him because of his mission. He was the forerunner of the Messiah (see Malachi 3:1, quoted in verse 27).
  5. Although all believers are not greater in character or mission, we are all greater in position. John the Baptist was not indwelt by the Holy Spirit as every believer is today. John the Baptist was not part of the Church, the Body of Christ, as we are. We are privileged to live in the fullness of times, now that Christ has come and His work on the cross is completed.

Discuss/Consider

  1. There is nothing wrong with having honest doubts and questions. We all have them, especially when our good plans are not going as we expected. Like John the Baptist we should bring these honest doubts and questions to the Lord and let Him answer them. His answer will often come through Scripture. Have you ever seen this in your life?
  2. Discuss how unbelievers in Jesus’ day were like spoiled brats. Discuss how this is true of unbelievers today as well.

Challenge

  1. The Lord and His Word are wisdom. When we follow the Lord and His Word we are children of wisdom. We should be proof of the truth of His teaching, because our lives should be radically changed.

Key Verses

  • “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 dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” Luke 7:22-23
  • “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.” Luke 7:28

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