Doubt Your Doubts

Excerpt from Legendary Leaders of the Bible

Leadership Lesson #39:  Doubt Your Doubts

“Let me tell you what’s going on here: No one in history surpasses John the Baptizer; but in the kingdom he prepared you for, the lowliest person is ahead of him (Matthew 11:11 MSG). 

We all have doubts, even John the Baptist. At this time in John’s life he sat in Herod’s prison. He had done all that he had believed he should do to prepare the people for Jesus’ coming and Jesus had stepped into his ministry—yet, John sat in prison.

He began to doubt what he had believed all his life.[1] Things weren’t really going the way he thought they would go once Jesus was revealed.

Jesus reassured John’s faith by addressing the signs and wonders that had been prophesied about the Messiah and that Jesus had fulfilled—healing the lame, deaf and blind, raising the dead, and preaching to the poor. In Jesus’s own words, no one fulfilled his God-given destiny better than John. Jesus was the Word made flesh.

When we are tempted to doubt those things we’ve believed, we can look to the Word of God and discover the truth. We can doubt our doubt with the truth.

[1] Matthew 11:4-6

Maintain a Devoted Lifestyle

Excerpt from Legendary Leaders of the Bible

Leadership Lesson #37:  Maintain A Devoted Lifestyle

And [the Pharisees] asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose” (John 1:26 NKJV).

John knew the people needed a Savior and that the promised deliverer of the world was coming. He was the forerunner who came before Jesus declaring the need for repentance and salvation.

Evangelist to many, he boldly and unashamedly declared the Good News of Jesus Christ.

He lived a life devoted to the message of Christ long before Jesus’s ministry was known to those who lived in John and Jesus’ day.

His message was not popular, especially with the Jewish leaders. But John’s devotion to the message and commitment to prepare the way of the Lord was his strength in the face of hardship. It kept him focused and ready until the day he saw Jesus walking in his ministry and purpose as the promised One who takes away the sins of the world.

Do What You Know

Excerpt from Legendary Leaders of the Bible

Leadership Lesson # 38: Do What You Know to Do

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel” (John 1:29-31 NIV).

 John prepared the way of the Lord. He knew Jesus when he saw him and declared his identity to everyone there, “Look, the Lamb of God….” John was doing what he knew he was supposed to do. He was baptizing people in water as they came to God, encouraging them to repent and prepare their heart for the Truth that was coming. When Jesus came, He found John faithfully doing what he knew to do.

What are you supposed to be doing as you look forward to Jesus return?

Will he find you faithfully doing what you know to do. Leaders continue to press forward in faith, like John, as they watch and look for his appearing.

Maintain a Devoted Lifestyle

Excerpt from Legendary Leaders of the Bible

Leadership Lesson #37:  Maintain A Devoted Lifestyle

And [the Pharisees] asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose” (John 1:26 NKJV).

John knew the people needed a Savior and that the promised deliverer of the world was coming. He was the forerunner who came before Jesus declaring the need for repentance and salvation. Evangelist to many, he boldly and unashamedly declared the Good News of Jesus Christ. He lived a life devoted to the message of Christ long before Jesus’s ministry was known to those who lived in John and Jesus’ day.

His message was not popular, especially with the Jewish leaders. But John’s devotion to the message and commitment to prepare the way of the Lord was his strength in the face of hardship. It kept him focused and ready until the day he saw Jesus walking in his ministry and purpose as the promised One who takes away the sins of the world.

Embracing Destiny

Excerpt from Legendary Leaders of the Bible

John the Baptist was an extremely unique individual—not only in his day, but more than likely he would stand out today as well. Isaiah prophesied his birth and an angel announced him when he was born. His father, Zechariah prayed for a son; God answered, and told him exactly what to name him. His mother, Elizabeth, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, were cousins. When Mary visited Elizabeth while both were pregnant, the baby, John, leaped in His mother’s womb and the Bible says that Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.[1]

John knew his purpose—perhaps from birth. He was appointed by God to announce Jesus as the Messiah as he stepped into ministry. He lived to prepare the way of the Lord. Charismatic in his delivery and bold in his belief, people would travel out into the desert to hear him speak. He was a fearless leader, unwilling to compromise and bold in confronting people about sin as He pointed them to Jesus.

Facts about John’s Life:

  • He was six months older than Jesus (Luke 1:36).
  • John was sustained with locust and honey camel hair with a leather girdle for clothes (Matthew 3:4).
  • John’s message attracted many people and they wondered if he might be the Messiah (John 3:28-30).
  • John was beheaded at the hand of Herod before Jesus died.

 

[1] Luke 1:41