map of region of Gergesenes or Gadarenes bsf matthew matthew 8

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 12, Day 2: Matthew 11:1-15


Jesus is continuing his ministry in the towns of Galilee. John the Baptist was in prison, and when he heard Jesus had come, he sent his disciples to ask if he was the One. Jesus told them to tell John that he has come to help the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, and raise the dead. He has come to preach the Good News to the poor. All who hear and believe will be blessed.

Jesus then spoke about John the Baptist, saying he is the Elijah who was to come, a prophet who none have been risen greater than he. The kingdom has been advancing thanks to John.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 12, Day 2: Matthew 11:1-15

3a) John is in prison, so he is probably hoping to get out when the One comes. He wants to know if Jesus will rescue him.

b) Jesus quoted Isaiah who prophesied about the Savior, saying when he (Jesus) comes, the deaf will hear, the blind will see, the lame will walk, and the humble will rejoice. He preaches Good News to the poor and binds up the broken hearted (Isaiah 14:3-5).

c) Many times: in our moves, our past bankruptcy, and even now as we try to navigate another move possibly and career changes. All changes test your faith in some way, and you learn to lean on God more and more.

4a) John the Baptist was probably confused if Jesus was a political Messiah, sent to overthrow Rome, or the one he is — the one to save our souls instead. So, he asked Jesus himself, as we all should.

b) By asking Jesus. By bringing their questions to him and asking and waiting for him to respond.

5) He said no one born of women has been greater than he.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 12, Day 2: Matthew 11:1-15

Great example of how it’s okay to doubt who Jesus is and ask him to reveal himself. Many people come to Christ this way. Doubting is human, so give yourself some grace when you arrive at these moments in your life and continue to bring your doubts to Jesus.

Great historical fiction on the life of John the Baptist!

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 12, Day 2: Matthew 11:1-15

Some Bible scholars say that John sent his disciples to ask who Jesus was for the disciples’ sake and not his own.

John the Baptist was in jail for calling out Herod Antipas, the ruler of Judea at this time. Herod had seduced his brother’s wife and ended up marrying her. John rebuked him for it and ended up in prison Matthew 14:3-12.

John is confused here, no doubt. He may be expecting a political Messiah — one who will rescue him. Perhaps, he didn’t want Jesus to forget about his troubles, too. Being in prision is hard, no doubt.

Jesus uses the prophecies of Isaiah to say he has come — but not in the political way many crave.

Jesus commends John the Baptist as the greatest prophet and man for being Jesus’s herald.  Isaiah 40:3 and Malachi 3:1. Note that Jesus bears witness to John as he had done for him.

The kingdom of heaven is forceful in pushing back the darkness and in converting people to Jesus.

John the Baptist was in the spirit of Elijah  (Luke 1:17). John was the last of the Old Testament prophets. We see Elijah at the Transfiguration  (Matthew 17:3), and we’ll see him as one of two prophets to come in Revelation 11:3-12.

Fun Fact: “He who has ears, let him hear” was a saying of Jesus after he said something important he wanted his followers to remember.

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Was Anyone Baptized Before John the Baptist?

Dove-tailing my Born-Again post, my next question that arose in my mind was this one.

We have previously explored the question in this blog of did anyone go to heaven before Jesus (see discussion here).  It was determined that Jesus went first and then those who had been awaiting to enter heaven did so.

I believe this: One does not have to be baptized to get into heaven; one only has to accept Jesus into their heart.  Others said one must be baptized to reach heaven and quoted scripture as well.

So when did baptism arise and what’s it purpose?

John the Baptize began baptizing people before Jesus.  John the Baptize baptized Jesus and in so doing, “The Spirit descended on him like a dove…and a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Mark 1:10

Was John the Baptist the first to begin baptizing people?

I believe so, yes.  He is called John the Baptist, right?

Then Jesus came along, was baptized, and commissioned his disciples to do the same.

I have concluded with two links.  One describes how the Old Testament leads up to baptism and even says how the flooding of the earth and the crossing of the Red Sea was a form of baptism.

It’s interesting so I’m including it here.

But baptism to me is accepting of Christ so I’m hesitant to see how these above examples could be baptism in the modern sense of the word when Christ didn’t exist yet.

This second link does a great job about explaining baptism and its purposes here.

I’m curious as to what your knowledge/opinions are on the history of baptism.