Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 47

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Day 47: I Hear and Respond

Please read the Bible verse for today:
Matthew 11: 7 - 19

7 "As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces.Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written:
“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way before you.’

The Bible is so real. Jesus, in the first verses of chapter eleven, was talking to John the Baptist's disciples. He was telling them to tell John, who was in prison, about all that Jesus was doing and that He was the Messiah. Basically, 'tell John, he got it right.' Now we join up with Jesus, "As John’s disciples were leaving." (Matthew 11:7) Jesus turns to the crowd and takes the time to tell them and talk about John the Baptist. I can't explain it - everything I read in the Bible is like a movie. I can see all of it clearly happening. It's so true to life. John's disciples come into the scene, Jesus talks to them, assures them, they leave and now Jesus talks to the crowd about John the Baptist. Jesus uses every situation to bring forth more truth and life to the people. 
So what does Jesus say about John the Baptist? Jesus reminds the people that they went out to the wilderness to see John, but asks them why? Did you go to see a king? No. He tells them, "A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet." (Matthew 11:9) He was more than a prophet.

11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." (Matthew 11:11) I believe Jesus is saying, to the Jewish crowd-the people of Israel, that John was greater than Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Daniel, and the list can go on and on of people who served God UNDER the Old Testament. John's job was to not just prophesy about Jesus, the coming Messiah, but to actually prepare the hearts of the people for the Messiah, Jesus. He had the greatest job. But then Jesus says, "yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." (Matthew 11:11b) If John is the greatest, how can someone be greater than him? Well, I believe Jesus is telling us that John will not have a opportunity to live under the New Testament of Grace, and forgiveness of sins through the blood of Jesus. John was the very last prophet of the Old Testament, but the New Testament has come and we are a part of it. We are greater than John if we confess Jesus as our Lord and Savior, ask Him to forgive us of our sin and follow Him. (That truth is AMAZING!)

12 "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. 15 Whoever has ears, let them hear." (Matthew 11:12-14)

The Kingdom of Heaven as been advancing on the earth through all the Old Testament prophets and it ends with John the Baptist. And then Jesus says, "if you are willing to accept it."  It always comes back to you- your choice. Believe it or not. Jesus will never force us to accept Him or the prophets. He lays out the truth before us and it is up to us to pick it up and accept it- accept Him. 

16 “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:
17 “‘We played the pipe 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, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.” (Matthew 11:12-18)

Jesus tells is like it is: John came with the Word- the people did not respond. Jesus came with the Truth- the people did not respond. John came neither eating or drinking and they said he was from the devil. Jesus came eating and drinking and they said he was of the devil. The truth is right in front of this crowd and right in front of us, and yet the people will not believe. But Jesus ends with, "But wisdom is proved right by her deeds." (Matthew 11:19) The people will see Jesus one day and know the truth. 

Pray with me:
Father, thank you for your Word. Thank you for John the Baptist. Thank you for sending your Son Jesus to earth. Thank you for sacrificing Him for our sins so we can know you and be in relationship with you. Help me to never hear the Word and not respond. Help me to hear the Word and be convicted. To move and live according to your truth. Change me that I may glorify your name in all that I do, think and say. In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

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