Someone told me that she likes to guess what I will use to remember the next chapter we are going to study . I doubt she will guess this. I know that it is a little odd, but I think prison bars look like the number 11, if you view them just right. So, we will use prison bars to remember this chapter.
There are two things in this chapter that are striking to me. John the Baptist is in prison and Jesus comparing our union with Him to being yoked together as oxen.
I think I will write this in two parts. Chapter 11 part 1 is about John the Baptist. Part 2 is about the yoke and the oxen, verses 11:28-30.
In verse 3, John, from prison, sends his disciples with a question for Jesus. He asks Jesus if He is the expected Messiah or should they be looking for some one else. I have read a few commentaries on this passage and I think that many of them over spiritualize what is happening here. It is my goal to see everyone in the bible as flesh and blood human beings, because that's what they were. Oh course the Holy Spirit was at work in every bit of the scriptures, but these were people, just like you and me.
So, when I read this passage about John, I see a man sitting in prison wondering, why he is still there. He knows how he got there (Luke 3:18-20) but probably thought that maybe church leaders would have been outraged to have a godly man treated so badly. After all, he was right about the sins of Herod. He hadn't accounted for the fact that they viewed him as a threat. He was pointing to Jesus as the Messiah. We are told in 10:34 that the Pharisees were accusing Jesus of having the power of the devil behind His miracles and in 12:14 the Pharisees had reach the point of plotting to kill Jesus. So they were certainly not going to get His biggest supporter out of prison. As the days wore on, I believe John couldn't believe that he was still sitting there . After all, he knew who he was. He had had a miraculous birth heralded by the angel Gabriel to his parents (Luke 1:5-25, 57-66,76-80). He was the right hand man of the Messiah so how could He leave him in prison? This was not the way it was supposed to work out. He knew he had always been faithful and bold in his calling. He knew he loved God above all else. His life had been devoted to his calling. So why was he still sitting in prison? I believe that this was the real question that John wanted answered. He wanted Jesus to set up His kingdom, save his right hand man and get on with ruling and reining forever more in righteousness. (Isaiah 9:6).
I have been there many times saying "Lord, I know what you asked me to do. I know I'm doing it. I know I'm devoted to doing it. So why isn't it working out the way I planned that it would when I worked it all out in my head? Why are we struggling? Why are we having to pray psalm 142:5-7 ? What is going on?"
I believe that John was just like us. He knew a lot. But he didn't know everything and he didn't understand that Jesus had come to die on the cross to save His people from their sins. Prison was God's plan for him. It was the part of his ministry that wasn't revealed to him. He was no longer needed to herald the coming Messiah. God would use prison to take him to glory. Amazing! (Isaiah 55:8-9)
So we will use PRISON BARS I I to remember this chapter. Also if you let the I I fall inward you get an X to remember OX with. (give it a try)
Chapter 10 is 10 sends out the 12. Jesus sends out His disciples with many famous verses, "confess me before men," "loves father and mother more than me is not worthy" ect.
Chapter 9 is verse 9:9 Matthew is called and double the 9 and you get 18 at verse 18 is the story of Jesus healing the woman with the issue of blood and raising the little girl from the dead.
Chapter 8 is 8:8 Lord I am not worthy to have you come under my roof but just say the word and my servant will be healed. It is the story of the centurion with the great faith Also we want to remember LET THE DEAD BURY THEIR OWN DEAD AND PIGS OVER A CLIFF.
Chapter 7 is JUDGING, plank in the eye,and PROPHET, fruit inspection, both are 7 letter words
Chapter 6 is PRAYER , the lords prayer is here and WORRY. This is one of the places where the Lord tells us not to worry.
Chapter 5 is BLESS your HEART, the Beatitudes are here and the adultery in your heart verse is here.
Chapter 4 is THINK FAST, Jesus fasts for forty days and forty nights and Jesus calls 4 APOSTLES, ANDREW, PETER, JAMES AND JOHN
Chapter 3 is H2O, John baptizes Jesus and we see the TRINITY when Jesus comes out of the water.
Chapter 2 is JESUS TURNS 2, WISE MEN COME, HEROD SLAUGHTERS THE 2 YEAR OLDS
Chapter 1 is first 17 verses are genealogy and if you turn the 18 on it's side it looks like a swaddled baby. It's the Christmas story.
Ok, ladies, keep your bibles out. Keep reading. I will post part 2 soon. Start reading chapter 12. read it as many times as you can. Pray to commit the verses to memory and practice during the day and as you go to sleep at night. God Bless
|"Therefore do not fear for you are of more value than many sparrows." Jesus|