Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: 1 Kings 21-22; Matthew 11
What is your reputation? What do people think about you? Are you a servant or selfish? Are you compassionate or conceited? Are you a laborer or lazy? Are you happy or grumpy? Are you godly or worldly? Everyone builds their reputation by the decisions they make and by the life that they live. In Matthew 11, Jesus gives His perspective of the life of John the Baptist. “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist:…” (vs. 11) What Jesus meant by greatness was the right person being matched to the right position at the right time. A person with all kinds of potential will accomplish very little if he is not put into a position that takes full advantage of his abilities. The Christian has a tremendous advantage in life, because God omnisciently matches our talents, gifting, and calling. In the case of John the Baptist, the greatest human being and the greatest human mission came together by God’s sovereign and providential direction. John the Baptist was sent by God “before thy face” to prepare the way for Christ. He was called to be the forerunner of the Messiah. The phrase, “before thy face” (vs. 10) means to go before or to precede. John the Baptist was to go before the Messiah and prepare the way for them to recognize and accept Him. To understand why it was necessary for the Messiah to come. However, the people did not receive him but rather met the message with violence. We live in a similar situation today. We have had the privilege to have a Christian heritage on which our country was founded. There was a sacred reverence for the Creator of the world, and for the Bible that He left to direct our decisions. The speeches of our forefathers are packed with references to Deity and quotations from the Bible. However, those same principles are being met with anger and violence. People today do not want the truth of the Bible, and the authority that it brings, to govern their lives. Jesus then pronounces judgment on three locations: Chorazin, Bathsaida, and Capernaum. Jesus said, “Woe unto thee Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida… and thou, Capernaum…” God destroyed Tyre and Sidon because of their wickedness, but Jesus tells these three cities that if Tyre and Sidon had received the amount of truth and exposure to the Messiah as these three cities, they would have repented and they would not have been destroyed. Therefore, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for these three cities on the day of judgment. (vs. 22) Oh how we have been blessed to live in America! We have been given so much for which we will be held accountable. What do you think it will be like to stand before the Lord to give an account of how often we presented Christ to the lost of America? Will Jesus say, “Woe unto thee America”? “I gave you my complete revealed word of God, freedom to preach, teach, and share the gospel, and have established gospel-preaching churches in every city.” What is our reputation?