We're going to be looking at Luke 7:18-35 in this article as we continue to make our way through the gospel of Luke together.

Are you sure about Jesus? Do you really believe you can base the whole hope of your life on Him and He will not let you down? Are you sure about Jesus, or has something happened in your world to make you wonder?

John is in prison. He has spent his whole vocation calling Israel to repentance and preparing the way for the Messiah. What is the thanks he has gotten? What is the reward that the Lord has given him? - but to clap him in a cell, wrongly imprisoned by the wickedest man in the land, a man who he has bravely been calling into account when nobody else had the guts to do it. And very frankly he's shaken up about it. And the man that so boldly said, "This is the Lamb of God who's come to take away the sins of the world. This is the One who will restore righteousness in Israel." The Man that he had said that about, he's not so sure of that right now, not because he's a skeptic, but because he can't figure out what God's doing in his life because of the experience that he's now encountering.

Now let me say this for John - he knew the right thing to do. When you doubt Jesus, do you know where you go? You go right to Jesus. And since he couldn't leave the jail cell, he sent two people who could. "You go to Jesus and you ask Him a question and you come back and tell me what He said."

And I love how Jesus answers this question. He says, "Could you wait just a minute and stand right there and watch?" And Luke says, "In that hour, He healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits and on many who are blind, He bestowed sight." And then He said, "Go and tell John what you saw and heard. And then, tell him this..." And he starts quoting Isaiah 35:5 and Isaiah 61:1. Those two passages say that when the Messiah comes, He's going to do all the things Jesus just did in front of John's disciples. Jesus doesn't just make empty claims friends. He does stuff. And then He says, "Look at the Word, and look at what the Word tells you the Messiah is going to do, and then look at what I've done." And then He sends those two disciples back to John to tell John what they saw and heard and to quote to John the Bible that Jesus had fulfilled.

But you know when they got back to John, I have got to think that at least one thing Jesus said left John scratching his head, because Jesus didn't quote all of Isaiah 61:1. The last part of Isaiah 61:1 Jesus doesn't quote. It says: "The Messiah has come to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound." And that is exactly why John is despairing because he has been heralding the way of the Messiah and he is in jail! And Jesus doesn't explain that to John because He was going to have to die to set those captives free and He hadn't done that yet. And so John had to believe what He had done in fulfillment of His Word until he could come to understand what Jesus was doing in his life. And that's exactly what you have to do too. Sometimes you have no idea what Jesus is doing in your life, but when you're there, Jesus says, "Look at what I've already done, and look at what I've done in fulfillment of the Word, and you believe Me until you come to the day that you understand what I'm doing, because I don't just make claims, I fulfill Scripture and I will not break My promise."

And then He sends these two disciples away. Then look what does He do in verses 24 to 28. This is not John's finest hour. Jesus turns around and He brags on John. "Let me tell you about my cousin John, my servant John. There has never been a man that walked the face of this earth greater than my cousin, my friend, my servant, my forerunner, John." And the crowd cries out, "God is just! Yes, that is the John that we know, that is the John that we respect! For Jesus to make that kind of a judgment is right because John is a great man. This man clearly is God's man and what Jesus has said about him is right."

That's a picture of the Judgment Day for everybody who believes in Jesus Christ. That's what the Lord Jesus is going to do for you on Judgment Day. Do you understand that? You see this is a picture of the final vindication of everyone who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. It's not that our faith is great; it's that our Savior is great, and He is kinder to us than we deserve. And John never knew this rendering of his Savior on him as far as we know in this life, but I would have loved to have been there when he opened his eyes in glory and an angel said to him, "Do you know what Jesus just said about you?" That's going to be the experience of everyone who trusts on the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on the Judgment Day. You know, doubting believer, there's one thing sure - that whatever it is that He's doing in your life, He's going to be kinder, more merciful, more gracious to you than you dared dream.

But then, Jesus turns to the religious leaders and He said, "You know what? You don't like John or Me. John came fasting, John came with a Nazarite vow - not drinking, never let alcohol cross his lips - and you know what you said about him? You said he was demon possessed. I on the other hand, came eating and drinking and I'll eat with sinners and tax collectors. And you know what you say about Me? You say I'm a glutton and a drunkard. Nothing pleases you." And Luke tells us why nothing pleases them. He tells you right in 29-30: "The Pharisees and lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves." Is that not one of the most terrifying sentences you have ever read in the English language? I can't even begin to think about all that it means. Why? Not having been baptized by him. Is this about ritual? No, it's about repentance. They hadn't repented. They hadn't seen that they were the problem; they hadn't seen that it was their sin that needed to be judged. It wasn't the dirty Gentiles that needed to be judged, it was them. And so they hated what Jesus and John had to say because it embarrassed them and it humiliated them. They didn't like it when Jesus and John put their finger on their hearts.

My friend, do not be indifferent with His dealings with your heart, because He is not the problem, and John is not the problem, and they are not the problem, and someone else is not the problem. The problem is your own heart. And if you will repent, you will find Him more gracious than you could possibly imagine. John did.



Are you sure about Jesus? Go to His Word. Go to what He's done. He will not fail you.