Truth, doubt or blindness

English: The Jordan River and "Kfar-Hanas...

The Jordan River and “Kfar-Hanasi” bridge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At a certain time in history, nearly two thousand years ago there was a man preaching in the dessert. The disciples of John reported of an other preacher leaving Capernaum going into a city called Nain with several of his disciples and a great crowd went with him. In that place were also disciples of that preacher in the desert, clothed in camel hair.
Those pupils may have been astonished by the great multitude this story teller could fetch. they also witnessed how this preacher drew near to the gate of the city when there was carried out one that was dead, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.  they witnessed how that preacher had compassion on her, and said unto her not to weep. Unbelievable it was to see how he came nigh and touched the bier and the bearers stood still. Having said that the young man had to ‘Arise’ they also witnessed with others in the city that this young man got up and began to speak. And he gave him back to his mother.  Seeing this they were not the only ones taken by fear. Many glorified God and said that a great prophet was arisen among them.

This report of the incredible event went forth concerning that preacher in the whole of Judea, and all the region round about. And the disciples of John the Baptist told him of all these things.  John having become curious about this miracle worker called unto him two of his disciples to sent to that man to ask him if he was the one the world was looking and waiting for.

English: This mural, painted on the interior o...

This mural, painted on the interior of the John the Baptist Church at the Jordan River, depicts Jesus’ baptism by the hand of John. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the men were come unto him and said that John the Baptist had sent them unto him to ask if he was “he that cometh”, or if they had to look for another. that day they could see how in one hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits; and on many that were blind he bestowed sight. The preacher and miracle-worker from Nazareth knew his member of family and told his disciples the things which they had seen and heard; the blind receiving their sight, the lame walking again, the lepers being cleansed, and the deaf hearing again but also the dead raised up, whilst everybody could hear him preach in the name of the Only One God. Rich or poor, all had good tidings preached to them. Though we know that many doubted and still many doubt today. Then as know there are still many who find enough occasion of stumbling in him.

When the messengers of John were departed, this miracle-worker with the name Jeshua (Jesus) began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, a man clothed in soft raiment. He asked the people around him what they went out to see. A prophet?

We are told that the preaching man in the dessert and baptising people in the river Jordan was much more than a prophet.  He is the one of whom it is written,

    Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, Who shall prepare thy way before thee

The people had a son of man spoken about in the old scrolls and now got to see an other son of man prophesied in the ancient Holy Writings. but who was willing to see what he did, hear what he said, and believe what he said? Then and now there are still many people who do not want to believe the words which were written down about that man who was lower than angels but made higher later on. Lots of people do forget that God is, was and always has been the Most High, and that it is Him Who gives and takes life. The Nazarene man who did those miracles never claimed to do them himself, but still today there are lots of people who want to believe that it was he himself who did it all and that he is the Most High God. They are the people Jesus is also talking about, the ones who do not want to believe the Words of God Himself Who ascribed His people, who said Who were His and who Jesus was. Though many could hear it when this son of man was standing in the river Jordan.

Luk 3:15-22 MKJV  And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts concerning John, lest perhaps he was the Christ,  (16)  John answered all, saying, I indeed baptize you with water, but He who is mightier than I comes, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to loose. He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire,  (17)  whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor and will gather the wheat into His storehouse. But He will burn the chaff with unquenchable fire.  (18)  And then indeed exhorting many things, he proclaimed the gospel to the people.  (19)  But Herod the tetrarch (being reproved by him on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done)  (20)  added still this above all, that he even shut John up in prison.  (21)  And it happened in the baptizing of all the people, Jesus also being baptized, and praying, and the heaven was opened.  (22)  And the Holy Spirit came down in a bodily shape, like a dove on Him. And a voice came from Heaven, which said, You are My Son, the Beloved; I am delighted in You.

After his baptism and his retreat of meditation in the dessert this son of man about Whom God had declared to be His beloved son, Jeshua (Jesus) like his cousin started preaching but went also into the villages and towns. this was when he was beginning to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) son of Joseph, son of of Heli.

Luk 7:11-35 MKJV  And it happened on the next day, He went into a city called Nain. And many of His disciples and a great crowd went with Him.  (12)  And drawing near the gate of the city, even behold, one having died was being carried out, an only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable crowd of the city was with her.  (13)  And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, Do not weep.  (14)  And He came and touched the bier. And the ones who bore him stood still. And He said, Young man, I say to you, Arise!  (15)  And the one who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He delivered him to his mother.  (16)  And fear came on all. And they glorified God, saying, A great prophet has risen up among us; and, God has visited His people.  (17)  And this report of Him went out in all Judea, and in all the neighborhood.  (18)  And his disciples reported all these things to John.  (19)  And John, calling near a certain two of his disciples, sent them to Jesus, saying, Are You He that should come, or do we look for another?  (20)  And coming to Him, the men said, John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, Are You He who should come, or do we look for another?  (21)  And in the same hour He cured many of infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits. And He gave sight to many who were blind.  (22)  And answering, Jesus said to them, Go and tell John what you have seen and heard; that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the gospel is proclaimed to the poor.  (23)  And blessed is he who shall not be offended in Me.  (24)  And when the messengers of John had departed, He began to speak to the people concerning John. What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?  (25)  But what did you go out to see? A man clothed with soft clothing? Behold, those in splendid clothing and being in luxury are in kings’ palaces.  (26)  But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and much more than a prophet.  (27)  This is he of whom it is written, “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who shall prepare Your way before You.”  (28)  For I say to you, Among those who are born of woman there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist. But he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.  (29)  And all the people and the tax-collectors who heard Him justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.  (30)  But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, not being baptized by him.  (31)  And the Lord said, To what then shall I compare the men of this generation? And to what are they like?  (32)  They are like children sitting in a market and calling to one another, and saying, We have played the flute to you, and you have not danced; we have mourned to you, and you did not weep.  (33)  For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, He has a demon.  (34)  The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, Behold a gluttonous man and a winebibber, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners!  (35)  But wisdom has been justified by all her children.

You may wonder if John was uncertain about Jesus’ identity. It is not clear that he knew the preacher to be spoken of to be Jeshua his cousin. If they would have told him his name he would have known more, but at that time the stories where still vague and very confusing, because people told about incredible things, like people standing up from the dead. Also for John the Baptist such stories should have sounded incredible and unbelievable.

It’s comforting to see that even a spiritual giant like John the Baptist can face uncertainty. John was uncertain about Jesus’ identity. Um, say what?!? Remember – John was the one who baptized Jesus! But put yourself in John’s sandals – after baptizing Jesus, John probably expected Jesus to come in power, drive out the Romans, and take charge as the true king of Israel. It was the expectation of all of the Jews that the Messiah would be this kind of savior. The crowds, the disciples, and even John didn’t expect this Messiah – one who came to save people eternally, not just politically. {When a Baptist Doubts Jesus…}

No wonder many dared to ask themselves if this son of man could perhaps be the one talked about in the prophesies they all so knew very well. Or should they keep looking?

In previous articles we have already spoken about the doubt and how much doubt can be accepted or tolerated and could be seen as something natural in our human constitution. Every time someone in the Bible expresses doubt, the doubt moves to faith after God responds.

The same is true here with John the Baptist. He is not condemned for questioning and expressing concerns about the Messiah. In fact, Jesus commends John!{When a Baptist Doubts Jesus…} John expressed concern and doubt and Jesus says there is none greater. Not bad, getting a compliment from the Messiah! But John came with a different purpose and function than Jesus. John came to prepare the way for the Messiah. Jesus affirms that he Is the Messiah. But people just won’t be pleased. {When a Baptist Doubts Jesus…}

Also today we do find people who do not want to accept that Jesus could really be a man doing God His Will. They think it to be impossible for any man to do God His Will. This is not only doubting man himself but also doubting God. Because it would indicate that God could not create a man able to follow His Wishes and keeping to His commandments He gave them. (That would also make this God in a very cruel God, putting Laws unto His creatures knowing that they can not keep to them and than terrorising them with the punishment of pain, continues suffering and death.)

When you look around you you might find lots of people who do not want to accept Jesus is really the son of man and the son of God, as the Bible tells us. Lots do not even want to accept he lived because they follow those who say Jesus is God and for them God does not exist so Jesus cannot have existed. Both are blinded by a wrong idea. The Christians who do not accept the manhood of Jesus, denying the Words of God Himself about His son, and ignoring the many remarks of Jesus about his position and relationship with his heavenly Father. And the atheists confusing with them two different characters, one a man of flesh and blood, being a historical figure and a biblical figure, whilst the other though also a biblical figure, not being a man of flesh and blood but being an eternal Spirit and Creator of heavens and earth.

For lots of people it does take a lot of time before they come to see things and it even takes much longer before they come to see the truth.

of the Mark Twain quip:Twain

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

He writes:

Eventually kids come to recognize the wisdom of their parents. And time will show that Jesus is who and what he claims to be. Time will show that Jesus IS the Messiah. And with him comes the kingdom of God – here and now, breaking through to earth.

He also thinks about the song called “Give Me Faith” which says:

I need you to open my eyes And see that you’re shaping my life All I am, I surrender Give me faith

We only can ask God that He will open the eyes of many and shall show them who the one is about Whom He said that he is His beloved son. In the coming weeks we shall be reminded of the acts this young man did, giving his life, not for himself, not to please himself, not for doing his own will, but for doing the Will of God and out of love for all people. In case Jesus is God he naturally would always have done his own will and would have known that man nor death can do nothing to him. But not being God he had to trust his heavenly Father and had to believe all the promises of his ancestors. He also had to fully believe in the One who he thought to be the God of Abraham to be the Creator of heaven and earth, willing to accept his ransom offer.

No wonder Jesus sweated blood and water, because he too had moments of doubt and worried about what could happen to him. If he was God he would not have had to worry, because God knows everything, but he as man was in a total different position. He had not to lack faith. And that is important for us as well. We may also not lack faith like Jesus trusted his heavenly Father we too should trust our heavenly Father.

This week, examine the ways and areas of your life where you might lack faith (or have weak faith). – Pray that God would expand and increase your faith! {When a Baptist Doubts Jesus…}

Many who heard about the master teacher and his miracles doubted in those stories being true. Many came to look at him just out of curiosity. Lots of people found him very entertaining and were willing to follow him in the mountains to hear his stories and to see what he would do next. Having not television this was the reality show in pure real life time, with magic beyond human understanding. Bread and fishes multiplying like nothing. People standing up after years having paralysed or being so ill they could not do much. Many could see it but still did not believe it. Today we cannot see it but are we willing to believe it?

John came to prepare the way for the Messiah. Jesus affirms that he Is the Messiah. But people just won’t be pleased. {When a Baptist Doubts Jesus…} “To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’ For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.”

The son of man of whom is said he is also the son of God, is given to humankind.  Lots is written about him. The most important things are able to be found in the Holy Scriptures, the Bible. What is written in there about this rabbi people should believe. Those words we should accept like they are written down for previous, our and next generations, to come to see. Let us see and hear and finally come to believe.

At the time of Jesus non-Jews also came to believe in him. Even a centurion, one of the Roman soldiers came to see Jesus.

This is not someone who is naturally part of “God’s people.” Clearly he is friendly towards the Jews. He knows Jewish elders and helped build the local synagogue. Yet he has a level of faith that puts God-believers to shame. Not only does he ask Jesus to heal a servant, he demonstrates an understanding of Jesus’ authority that everyone else around Jesus seems to miss. {Jesus Didn’t Really Do Miracles} It’s one thing for a local healer to put hands on someone and to say some words and to bring about a healing. Here the soldier is asking Jesus to demonstrate the impossible – a distance miracle. There is no touch involved (a common element in ancient healing rituals). But as the centurion understands military authority, he believes Jesus has the same spiritual authority. {Jesus Didn’t Really Do Miracles} In all of Jesus’ healing stories, the response of the crowd is to marvel and amaze at Jesus. Here, Jesus marvels at the centurion! This truly is incredible faith, and because of the faith Jesus delivers and the servant is healed. If Jesus can heal from a distance like this, what limit is there to his ability? {Jesus Didn’t Really Do Miracles}

We understand the way of thinking of many atheists and unbelievers. It all sounds incredible. But that means not that it would not be  credible. It would not be a miracle if it would normally could happen just like that.

Are we willing to believe the Bible? Are we willing to accept that God provided the world with some one who could speak in God His Name and honour Him perfectly? Are we willing to put our doubts away and see like Pontius Pilate an innocent man brought to the slaughter, being the king of the Jews but also the perfect ransom offer, God accepting him to become the king of many, also non-Jews?

Are we willing to belong perhaps to the those underdogs who Jesus calls lucky? Though the majority of the world does not want to believe in God nor in the one sent by God, do you want to believe in that sent one from God who came to tell the world about the Good News of the  Kingdom of God? Though he may change your ideas of who and what is important in the kingdom of God and may turn the table on the people who live their best life now, are you prepared to follow his teachings and not those of certain theologians or men who claim to be man of God, but are not notated as that in the Bible?

Are you willing to open your own eyes or to blindly follow the sayings and doctrines of man?

We should go for that preacher who told that the Spirit of Jehovah God was on him, because God has anointed him to bring good news to the poor and to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and freedom to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of God’s favour, and the day of our God’s vengeance; to comfort all who mourn.

Let us believe in that man sent from God who ave his body for the whole world, and restored the relationship between God and man. He now is the mediator between God and man, our intercessor in whom we should put all our hope.

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Preceding article: What is the truth asked also Pontius Pilate

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Read relevant articles:

  1. Christ begotten through the power of the Holy Spirit
  2. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  3. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  4. Jesus begotten Son of God #11 Existence and Genesis Raising up
  5. Jesus begotten Son of God #14 Beloved Preminent Son and Mediator originating in Mary
  6. Jesus Messiah
  7. Jesus and his God
  8. Wishing to do the will of God
  9. The high calling of God in Christ Jesus
  10. On the Nature of Christ
  11. Servant of his Father
  12. Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:13-17 – Jesus Declared God’s Son at His Baptism
  13. Nazarene Commentary Mark 1:9-11 – An Approved Son Baptized
  14. On the Nature of Christ
  15. Jesus is the Son of God but Not God the Son
  16. A voice cries out: context
  17. Days of Nisan, Pesach, Pasach, Pascha and Easter
  18. Servant for the truth of God
  19. Science, scepticism, doubts and beliefs
  20. Doubting and going astray
  21. Looking at three “I am” s
  22. Let me keep to “first importance” things
  23. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.

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  • Baptized with Fire (holyspiritactivism.wordpress.com)
    The baptism of the Spirit produced countless miracles as well as mutual love among the early Jesus-followers, so that they shared everything and had everything in common, nobody being richer than another. This is because the Holy Spirit gives both miraculous gifts for ministry and compassionate fruits for character.
  • Baptised (genesisone.wordpress.com)
    In His baptism Jesus sealed His complete identity with those whom He came to save – all of humankind. He consecrated Himself to complete and total obedience to God the Father who had sent Him.
  • Day 1 – Jesus Is Here Devotional Guide (pastorericdykstra.com)
    Before this moment I don’t see Jesus doing miracles, but after baptism and the descending of the Holy Spirit, He does tons of miraculous things. When the Spirit of God fell on Jesus, He went from carpenter to miracle worker.
  • ‘Finding Jesus’: John the Baptist Q&A (gantdaily.com)
    Actually there is external attestation for the life and importance of John the Baptist. This is important because it’s fairly rare to find this kind of evidence for ancient figures outside the writings of their followers. The Jewish historian Josephus mentions John the Baptist in his book, “The Jewish Antiquities.” Josephus describes John as a “good man” who possessed “virtue” and had “great influence” over the people. According to Josephus, Herod put John the Baptist to death because he was afraid that he might raise a rebellion. This gives us another — arguably more historical — perspective on why John was executed and provides further evidence about just how important John was in his own day.
  • Feb. 13. John’s Second Testimony (fellowshiproom.org)
    Jesus continued to teach for a few months in the land of Judea, which included the Jerusalem area. John the Baptist was also teaching in this area, but Jesus and His disciples were teaching and baptizing more people than he. John explained that this was the way it should be. “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
  • In praise of John the Baptist (betsybeadhead.com)
    John’s disciples brought him reports about everything that Jesus was doing when John was in prison. John sent two of them to Jesus to ask him “Are you the one we have been waiting for, or should we keep looking?”
  • Prepare Ye The Way of the Lord (fatpastor.me)
    After a prologue, Godspell begins with John the Baptist blowing the shofar and calling the people to baptism. In our production, the children are the first ones up. Then they bring the adults with them to the stage. We sing joyfully, “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord,” until Jesus comes to be baptized as well. It is the start of the musical. More importantly, it is the start of our journey.
  • Apostolic Pastor Teaches Followers How to Be Holy, Be Baptized in Jesus Name and More! (sanctifiedchurchrevolution.blogspot.com)
    Dr. Rader Johnson is one of the fewest preachers within the Apostolic church that is sticking with the original doctrine.  He talks about how many within the denomination have fallen away from what is the truth.   Many pastors and first ladies are more worldly then ever and mingling with those who are not Apostolic.
  • Correctly Understanding Jesus’ Condemnation of the Pharisees (juicyecumenism.com)
    Jesus’ reading from the Book of Isaiah to the Nazareth synagogue set out a gospel of deliverance of those oppressed in various ways from their suffering (Lk 4:14-20). Perhaps most provocatively, He said that religious rules and regulations could be set aside to meet human need (Matt. 12:1-14). Throughout the gospels, Jesus is seen in a ministry of addressing human need and condemning those who were considered religious exemplars, and were thought of as superior to ordinary people, and certainly to exemplary sinners.

    Yet Jesus message was not fundamentally different from the faith of the Old Testament, for which holiness, obedience, and sacrifice for sin were central. Both at the beginning of John the Baptist’s proclamation of good news from God (Matt. 3:2), and Jesus proclamation of good news (Matt. 4:17) there is an admonition to “repent.” Jesus’ pronouncement of salvation to people on their showing of faith at times announced forgiveness, at times healing, and Jesus specifically said that one pronouncement amounted to the same thing as the other (Matt. 9:5-7, Mk. 2:9-12). In saying that He did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Matt. 9:13), He is telling us that the sinners were in fact sinners, not (or not merely) victims in need of deliverance.

  • Food for Thought-Thoughts On The 1st Sunday of Lent Mark 1:9-15 (richardsfoodforthought.com)
    When John gets arrested the nature of how we talk about God’s message changes. It’s not just an existential struggle between good and evil. That’s still present and bound up with how we live every day. Once people start going to jail for what they believe, Christianity can no longer be an intellectual exercise or a good theory to be debated at parties. It has to be a way of life.
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22 responses to “Truth, doubt or blindness

  1. Pingback: Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:18-22 – The Calling of the First Disciples | Belgian Biblestudents - Belgische Bijbelstudenten

  2. Pingback: Who Is Jesus? God, or unique Man? | Broeders in Christus

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