Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January 15, 2014 – Matthew 11 – Childlike Faith

Below are my thoughts from the daily Bible reading of the West Side Church of Christ. Before reading I invite you to pray and asked God to speak to you as you read his word. Also above in the tabs is a link to the Bible reading plan.

What Does this Passage Say?
  • Jesus gave instructions in our last chapter to His disciples to send them out on their preaching, teaching, and healing journey. We can assume He sent them out. While they are out on their own, Jesus continues doing what He has been doing.
  • His relative, John the Baptist, has been arrested for his own preaching and teaching. Whether John is confused or just unsure of exactly who Jesus is we do not necessarily know. We know that his life is shortly going to be taken from him. Maybe he is reflecting on life and wanting to be assured that it was not a waste and that Jesus really was the Messiah. So he sends his own disciples to ask Jesus.
  • Jesus confirmed John’s question by presenting the evidence. The evidence strongly suggests that Jesus is the Messiah. All that the scripture talk about concerning the Messiah Jesus has done. John’s life was not lived in vain.
  • Jesus then reminds the people who John was. He was not a polished man or even a wealthy man. He was a prophet sent by God to prepare the way for Jesus. He is the man that the Old Testament writers prophesied would come. John played a special rule in the Kingdom of Heaven, leading the way for Jesus.
  • Matthew takes a unique turn in verse twenty. At first glance it seems he is going onto a different topic about faith. But let’s connect the dots. He has just finished sharing what Jesus stated about John the Baptist. It takes some level of faith to believe that John was who he claimed to be, who the scripture predicted he would be, and who Jesus said he would be. Jesus carries on this idea of faith and belief that one must have to follow Jesus.
 What is this passage teaching?
  • The underlying principle of this chapter is belief. John questioned his belief in Jesus. The crowds in a lot of ways had no idea who John was to rightfully believe in him. The cities that Jesus ministered to struggled to understand who Jesus was which lead to very little belief in the claims He made. Jesus then concludes this passage with a plea to God thanking him for childlike faith needed to believe in Jesus. Childlike faith doesn’t take much convincing. Childlike faith reacts on basic belief and understanding. This can be a good thing. Jesus then utter the famous words … “for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30 NIV). Jesus knows it is not the definitive proof that draws us to him, but childlike faith and the broken weary moments of life. For that Jesus is ready with His arms open wide.

 How can I apply this passage to my life?

  • What leads you to doubt? What leads you to question Jesus? Jesus does not make belief in Him something hard to grasp. He compares it to childlike faith. All these people who encountered Jesus had the evidence of miracles, healings, and the casting out of demons. But they did not believe or have faith. Their reaction to Jesus will eventually be to chant “Crucify!” We are not witnesses to the miracles, healing, and the casting out of demons. We have to have childlike faith. We have to take the evidence presented before us and believe in Him through it. If your faith is wavering dive in and examine why. 
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