Sunday Sermon: Christ is the Answer to Doubt


This past Sunday was the start to the third Sunday in Advent.

Today we answer the question: What happens when we doubt?
The answer: Christ is the answer to doubt.


Hymns:

O come,  o come Emmanuel
O come, all ye faithful
God rest ye merry gentlemen
Joy to the world
What child is this?
Silent night
Glory to be the father.

 

Scripture:

 Matthew 11:1-19
When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.
Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is he of whom it is written,
“‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
    who will prepare your way before you.’

11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, 14 and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
16 “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates,

17 “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
    we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”


Sermon notes:


Intro: driving a route that was well known and feeling like you are going the wrong way because what you expect doesn't happen.

So doubt sets in.

So Jesus recalls the tale of John the Baptist. 

John didn't expect to land up in prison.  He expected to preach his message of judgement.   And he hears the Jesus' ministry is one of grace.  He expected Jesus to have a ministry of judgement.  So he wondered if Jesus was the one he had foreshadowed so he sent his disciples to ask....are you the one I pointed the way to???


John had doubt.
It's no different from the fact we have doubts about Jesus too.

Doubts about how God is working, with churches close who honour him, when illness strikes, or Christians diminish in number, etc.

Jesus did not leave John in his doubt.   Jesus pointed him to what he was really doing.  The blind see.   This was unique to Jesus' ministry.   The dead live, the lame walk, the poor have good news preached to them, the deaf hear etc.

The poor, the ignored among society are being addressed.

Isaiah 29.   Isaiah 35.  Isaiah 61.  
Jesus says to John,  look I am doing exactly what God said I would do.
And all this action I do know doesn't mean that judgement isn't coming.  Judgement is coming, no question about it.


John was a testament to Jesus.   He immediately prepared the way for Christ.

John was reminded by Jesus that his place was the greatest prophet.  See what Jesus is doing. 

See the restoration that Jesus has wrought in your life.
It is so easy to not really see what Christ does .  
But Jesus reminds us what he is doing.   
Sight to the blind: physically and spiritually
Raises the dead: those who are dead to God see and hear the reality of God and that he calls them out to him.

Sometimes God sends a famine of his word so that people start to hunger for him.
Sometimes growth happens in one area while death occurs in another.

Never fear, God sees it, Jesus acts all the time, completing all of his mission.

Doing this through his people.

Look and see his action.
Look and see that he is coming again.

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