For while we were yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly. Rom. 5,6



Mat. 11:2-10

   2 Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to Him, "Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?" 4 Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and report to John what you hear and see: 5 the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM. 6 "And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me." Jesus' Tribute to John 7 As these men were going away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 "But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings' palaces! 9 "But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one who is more than a prophet. 10 "This is the one about whom it is written, 'BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY BEFORE YOU.'

   "Now as for me, I said in my prosperity, "I will never be moved." O LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong."
   Hardly anyone has testified so wonderful about the safety in the Lord as David. Just think of Psalm 4:8: "In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety." Or
psalm 23, and many other places.
   But here in psalm 30 it is something else David wants to promote. Here the emphasis is on the word
me. And listen how he goes on in his testimony: "You hid Your face, I was dismayed. To You, O LORD, I called, And to the Lord I made supplication." (v.7b-8).
   Take a look at our text too, which situation the "greatest born of women"
(Mat. 11:11) find himself in. And then we do not think of the outward situation, that he was in prison. But he was in spiritual affliction.

   All religious scruples turns on a disturbance of the relationship with Jesus, Gods salvation. Therefore it is also the bright light of the gospel alone, that can help in that kind of trouble.
   John goes through the same in his prison cell as David describes in Psalm 30. The face of God was hidden from him. What is the
face of God for a believer, if not Jesus?
   "I was dismayed!" And what did David do then? Did he perish in despair? Did he stare himself blind at the darkness before him, when the face of God was hidden from him? No, "
To You, O LORD, I called, And to the Lord I made supplication."
   This is how a believer is - it does not matter how dark it is - he calls to the LORD.

   Here we see the same thing about John. He sends for
Jesus, and desire answer from Him. (v.2).

   The fact that John could come into this situation at all, makes in high degree topical for the individual of us, Gods word by the apostle Paul: "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall."
(1 Cor. 10:12).
   John, in his enormous operation - the whole Israel were, so to speak, kneeling before him - could not ever imagine this situation to occur. But John too had to be saved as the one he actually was, that is,
perished in himself. It was not enough to be John the Baptist! It was not enough that he had stood firm in an enormous operation for Jesus!
   We so quickly think that - He was saved
because he was Isaiah - he because he was Abraham - he because he was Ezekiel and so on, but they were all saved because of Jesus and His work. He, the only one that could fulfil all righteousness. (Mat. 3:15).
   They were saved the same way as we were. They had just one single reason for boldness - the one as the apostle testifies about in the Heb.10:19:
"Therefore, brethren, -- we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus." We have to have our reason for boldness there - otherwise we will simply never enter heaven.
   So it was with John too
. And so also with you!

   You who are in doubt concerning Jesus person. You who are in doubt what His salvation concerns. You should not turn here and there, but call upon Him in this trouble - because it is a much greater trouble than any human suspect, still less unders
tand - not to be sure about ones real reason for salvation. - And then you have His promise: "When I rescue you, you should honor Me." (Psalm.50:15).
   It is not a small vow we get there, you and I. And it is the Lord Himself who makes that vow - no less. And He does not demand anything else than: "Call upon Me!" Then you shall - according to the word of Jesus - receive! We do not really want to mak
e Him a liar, do we?

   This was exactly what John did as well - he called upon Jesus. Turned his worry and his question to Jesus Himself. And he got answer. He got the answer
he needed, and he could calm down with.
   John knew the Scriptures. Then Jesus simply did not say: "Go and report John: Yes! It is I!" But He pointed out what happened by Him, and especially what John needed to hear for his own sake: "THE POOR HEAR THE GOSPEL PREACHED UNTO THEM."
   And by showing John His acts, Jesus tells him plainly who He is: "
And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me." (v.6).
   This points directly to a prophecy of Moses. - Moses, the hostile among the Jews thought Jesus contradicted him! - Deut. 18 says: "The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him... (v.15). 'I will rai
se up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him." (v.18-19).
   This prophecy Peter also points out in his speech to the
people in Acts 3:22-23, and says: "Moses said, 'THE LORD GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN; TO HIM YOU SHALL GIVE HEED to everything He says to you.." - And now it concerns me and you, my reader! - "And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people." In other words. ""And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me."

   John did not need any more "evidence." He knew Him by the Word. It is also how it is for every single Christian. He do not need any type of the
evidence the world requires. He receives an answer in his spirit that the world cannot understand. Community with Jesus, in The Words testimony about Him. "An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign." (Mat. 12:39).
   Notice that John did not ask for any sign. He simply asked Jesus about His person. Now, perhaps you should do that too, instead of brooding in your own? Ask Him! Perhaps you are tired with all the thousands of words
about Jesus - about the Law - about the Gospel and so on. You would certainly want that Jesus Himself came to you. Ask Him! It is not possible for anyone but Him to fulfil that wish.
   But He is coming to you exactly in
the Word about Him.

   We as Christian witnesses, or preachers, cannot do anything but carry further the Word and the comfort we have received ourselves. We are not able to reveal Jesus for any human heart - it is fully His work alone.

   But we know how it comes to pass, and hear: "Everyone who asks receives
!" John did receive!

   Another thing a preacher perhaps ought to beg the Lord for is, that he himself could get part in the message in a way, that Jesus could be present active in his testimony.

   V. 7 - 10
why did you go out in the wilderness - and what did you want to see?
   This disastrous curiosity that makes so many people flying here and there searching for something extraordinary - something special - was in operation here too. Then one get stuck in so many other things, than the thing that gives salvation. One is attracted by this artificial light like an insect to a lamp in the darkness. Stucked as in a magnet, and the true message of salvation seems to be total darkness.

   John was a
prophet, Jesus says. And the work of a prophet is not to be great oneself, but to point on Him, that has dispatch one.
   Yes, John was more than a prophet.
(v.9). The prophets that lived before John, told prophecies - often obscure - about Him, the one that once should come - John told about Him as his simultaneous: Now He is here!
   Therefore it was, in reality, nothing to see in the wilderness for any other than they whom heard Johns
message. There was the message that was out there in the wilderness. And the message was not about himself, but about Jesus. "He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light." (John 1:8). Like John tells himself, when they ask about his person: "I am A VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS." (John 1:23). Just another's voice! Nothing himself!
   We shall watch out for great preachers! Great "proph
ets" that like to interpret their own person. A preacher is nothing but a voice of one calling - about Jesus!


Holy Bible, New American Standard Version