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32: John is Assured and the Pharisees Stumble

May 14, 2009

Major Text: Luke 7:18-35

Harmony Texts: Matthew 11:2-19      Luke 7:18-35


  1. John Questions Luke 7:18-20
  2. John is Assured Luke 7:21-23
  3. Jesus Commends Luke 7:24-29
  4. Jesus Condemns Luke 7:30-34
  5. Jesus Challenges Luke 7:35


Some people are still loyal disciples of John the Baptist. One can speculate as to whether John was the one needing assurance or his disciples or both. It’s been about one year since John’s imprisonment and he is somewhat isolated. He and his disciples hear stories but they lack first hand evidence. So John sends them to Jesus for that first hand evidence. And they get it.

No doubt they saw many miracles before Jesus sent them back. The most important thing they witnessed was the gospel being preached; that Jesus forgives sin and gives eternal life to those who believe in Him. Those who seek repentance are commended. Those who don’t are condemned. Jesus challenges them to look at the results and make up their own mind.

Jesus continues to teach, commending John as greater than a prophet because he prepared the way. But he who is least in the Kingdom [reference to Jesus who humbled Himself as a man to come to earth] is greater than John. He commends the disciples of John because they sought forgiveness for their sin and contrasts them with the Pharisees who were too proud to seek forgiveness. Jesus says people cry out for answers but they don’t accept the answer they receive. Instead they make excuses as why they should not believe the answer. Jesus simply asks us to look at the results and decide who we will follow. Who will you trust with your life?

How do we want to live our life?……Assured of salvation in Christ or questioning the validity of Christ Jesus. Assurance begins with repentance. Questioning continues with the self-righteous.


  1. It is perfectly acceptable to question but in so doing one must be willing to accept the answer.
  2. Be steadfast in believing what God has revealed to you.
  3. John is great but Jesus, the Son of Man, who became flesh and dwelt among us is greater. Jesus is God Incarnate.
  4. A repentant heart is required to see and hear clearly and, thus, become wise unto salvation.
  5. The life of a true Christian points to the true Son of God. Having a soft heart for others begins with having a soft heart for Jesus.

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