Matthew 11:1-19  When Things Don’t Add Up


Have you ever been disappointed with God?

Ever wondered what God was doing ?

Ever doubted God’s Plan?


If yes you are not ALONE – Some of the greatest men of faith – battled this


It must have been how Elijah felt – after his showdown on Mt Carmel –

A)Gets word Jezebal is going to kill him – somehow he starts believing he is the last Prophet alive


B)On the run – Says to God just Kill me God – this didn’t work out the way I thought


I think that is how Moses probably felt after he killed an Egyptian for mistreating a Hebrew –

A)He goes from being 2nd in command to pharaoh to #1 on the most wanted list


B)Flees to the desert to become a nobody – I can hear Moses saying: “Never again – never again will I attempt to do something for you.” Fade into obscurity


C)When God comes calling 40 yrs later – Moses has every excuse in the book why God has the wrong guy


What about David: Anointed to be Israel’s next King

A)Ends up on the run for the next 12 yrs

Three great men of faith who all had their moments of doubting God and being disappointed with God

A)I think that primarily happens when God is not responding like we think He should


B)When He is not doing what we think he should be doing

1)That is when we start to doubt and to question


You are Single – Want to be married – But it isn’t happening – God is not bringing a mate {What is up


Or You think you found the one – you get married only to find out – This is harder than I thought


Launch out into ministry expecting great things – Instead it is struggle – You start wondering – was God really calling me?


New Job – this is it – Confirmation – things aren’t going smooth – what are you doing God


Tonight we are going to see a man that Jesus described a the greatest of the prophets at a time when he was doubting God


We want to take note of what Jesus says to him

And what Jesus says about him –


Give us tremendous insight into those moments when we are tempted to doubt God / disappointed w/ God

Matt 11:1-3

Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities.


2 And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples 3 and said to Him, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?"


What is going on here? This is John – Make way….

Greater ….. sandal ….. Not worthy baptize you


Behold the lamb – Now he is questioning – why?


Prison: He waiting to be executed –


If Jesus is the Messiah what am I doing here!

A)Jesus wasn’t doing what John thought he should be doing – not responding – { Where is the kingdom?


Jesus responds:

4 Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and tell John the things which you hear and see:  5 The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me."


Offended = Stumbled by me tripped up - 


Here is how to not be stumbled – all about focus!


Jesus gives a simple answer yet Profound: John don’t focus on what I am not doing – {releasing you


Pay attention to what I am doing 

blind see / the lame walk; /the lepers are cleansed

 the deaf hear;          the dead are raised up

  the poor have the gospel preached to them.


Guys this is key for everything: So easy to focus on what is not happening

A)Guy with his wife / Me with Sunday nights


B)Love you guys – See what God is doing – see how God is working


C) So Jesus sends the disciples of John back with that word – after they are gone he turns to the Crowd and talks about John


7 As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?   Wimpy guy easily swayed ? that wasn’t John –


He was a Wildman – “Brood of vipers who warned you to flee…..” Bold and powerful


8 But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in

kings' houses.  That wasn’t John – Camel skins eating locust and wild honey – 1st hippie

9 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.  10 For this is he of whom it is written:

"Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,

Who will prepare Your way before You.' 

11 "Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 


John was the greatest of the Prophets even though he worked no miracles – but he was the one the other prophets wrote about – Forerunner


Jesus sees an era ending with John; anticipated John and his ministry as a herald.


There is a sense, in which he speaks for every prophet who heralded Jesus’ coming.


But Jesus says as great as John was – he who is least in the kingdom is greater than John – why?

A)John Died as part of the new Cov. – He was born of a woman – but didn’t experience what it meant to be born again.


B)The least among us here who is born again is greater than John

1)Born again { Explain born or flesh vs born of the spirit!


C)No one was born again until Jesus died and rose

1)Righteous dead - Abraham Bosom


D)Jesus set the captives free – they benefited but didn’t experience it in their life time on earth


12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.  13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John


Interesting statement – No clue what this means


Two ideas for interpretation

1.)Here’s the kingdom of heaven and you take it by force. You claim this and grab hold of the promises of God.”


Clutch fight battle – Pursue

                            One interpretation


2.) I think we could more accurately look at in light of the NLT’s reading of the passage


(Mat 11:12 NLT)  And from the time John the Baptist began preaching and baptizing until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and violent people attack it.


The kingdom was forcefully advancing


Jesus was constantly on the move - the very power of God was at work as people’s lives were being touched.

A)And there were multitudes who wholeheartedly pressed into it


B)But- Simultaneously the kingdom was violently being attacked.


C)Contintues today


D)We need to pray that  WE would see the Kingdom advanced by the power of God changing lives….


E)Oh that we would see people DESPERATELY PRESSING IN to the Kingdom.


So Jesus is Validating the ministry of John – Continues in V.14

14 And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come


A)John’s coming may also be seen as a partial fulfillment of Malachi 4:5. Elijah would preceed the messiah


B) John was not actually Elijah, but he ministers in the same in spirit and power of Elijah, thus fulfilling his "office"



C)Elijah did come in fact during Jesus’ ministry, during the transfiguration (Matthew 17:3).

1) But he will come again before the Second Coming of Jesus, likely as one of the two prophets of Revelation 11:3-12.


15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear! Now he is going to address their generation

"But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, and saying: ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we mourned to you, and you did not lament.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children."


Jesus paints the picture of a group of children out playing in the streets.

A)One group says, "Let's play funeral."


B)They play funeral for awhile, soon tire of it and then say, "Let's play wedding."

1) Soon they grow tired of playing wedding.


C)They go from one extreme to another. They are like spoiled children.

1)Jesus is keying in on the fickleness of his Generation


Jesus says to them,


“You know God sends you a holy man who lives in the wilderness and does not associate with the sin and the patterns of the world that surrounded him and is completely separate in his life… PROCLAIMS THE WORD and POINTS TO the LIVING Word… and you say, ‘this guy is demon possessed.’


Then here I come, the Messiah, Emmanuel, God with us, to eat and to drink and to sit with them and to fellowship with them and teach them and you call me a glutton and a drunkard.


John was both austere and severe…. And they didn't feel comfortable with him.


Jesus was friendly.

"Oh, He is gluttonous. He's too friendly with sinners!"


They weren't pleased with John, nor were they pleased with Jesus.


APPLICATION: Several things: Pastor or minister – Motive can’t be to please pp!

A)There will always be those who don’t like you – Please God


B)2nd Last days: Itching ears – they will prop up teachers who tell them what they want to hear!


C)3rd thing: Look at the fruit


But wisdom is justified of her children.”

But wisdom is proved right by her actions."


Matt 11:19

But wisdom is shown to be right by its results."

New Living Translation


Look at the fruit of the ministry of John the Baptist


Look at the fruit of the ministry of Jesus Christ.


{ Don’t chop down a tree that is bearing fruit –


D)Ministries who do things different than we do –

1)Different not wrong – there is fruit -