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Copr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.

LESSON 6 - OPPOSITION TO THE KINGDOM (MATTHEW 11-13)

INTRODUCTION: THE LESSONS IN MATT. ARE JUST JAM PACKED WITH INTERESTING
MATERIAL.  I WISH THAT WE COULD COVER LESS GROUND EACH WEEK, BUT LETS
SEE WHAT WE CAN DO TODAY.  OUR LESSON FOCUSES UPON JOHN THE BAPTIST
AND THE OPPOSITION FACED BY JESUS, SO LETS GET INTO IT.

I. JOHN THE BAPTIST
      A. READ MATT. 11:2-3. JOHN IS IN PRISON. WHY? (THE ESTABLISHMENT DIDN'T
LIKE TO HEAR WHAT HE HAD TO SAY.)
      B. WHAT IS IT THAT JOHN IS ASKING JESUS THROUGH HIS DISCIPLES? (ARE
YOU THE MESSIAH?).
            1. DO REMEMBER JOHN EXPRESSING AN OPINION ON THIS BEFORE?
(MATT. 3:13-15 HE IDENTIFIES JESUS AS THE MESSIAH).
            2. SO WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE?  WHY IS JOHN EXPRESSING THIS
DOUBT? ISN'T THIS INEXCUSABLE? (LIST REASONS WHY JOHN COULD DOUBT:
                  a. JOHN LIVED IN THE DESERT, WAS ACTIVE, NOW IS
LANQUISHING IN PRISION AND IS DISCOURAGED.
                  b. LOOK WHAT JOHN SAID THAT JESUS WOULD DO IN MATT.3:11-
12.  WAS JESUS DOING THIS? JOHN OBVIOUSLY THOUGHT THAT JESUS WAS GOING
TO "CLEAN UP" ON HIS ENEMIES.  AND IT WASN'T HAPPENING.
                  c. JESUS DID NOT LIVE LIKE JOHN.(SEE MATT. 11:18-19))

      C. WHAT LESSONS DO YOU SEE THAT WE CAN LEARN FOR OUR LIVES FROM
THE DOUBTS OF JOHN AND THIS INTERCHANGE?
            1. SOMETIMES PERIODS OF DISCOURAGEMENT CAN COME TO ALL--
EVEN JOHN THE BAPTIST (V.11 "AMOUNG THOSE BORN OF WOMEN THERE HAS NOT
RISEN ANYONE GREATER THAN JOHN THE BAPTIST.)
            2. WE MUST BE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT OUR IDEAS OF THE WAY IN
WHICH JESUS WILL COME THE SECOND TIME.  EVEN JOHN THE BAPTIST HAD AT
LEAST PARTIALLY WRONG IDEAS ABOUT JESUS FIRST COMING.
            3. WE CANNOT JUDGE OTHERS BY OURSELF.

      D. BY THE WAY, THE DA (p.217) SAYS THAT WHEN JOHN HEARD THE REPORT
OF WHAT JESUS DID HE WAS SATISFIED THAT JESUS WAS THE MESSIAH.

II. REST FOR THE WEARY
      A. READ MATT. 11:28-30.
      B. WHAT CAUSES WEARINESS? WHAT ELSE HAVE YOU NOTICED WAS
PRESENT IN YOUR LIFE DURING THE TIMES WHEN YOU FELT ESPECIALLY WEARYY?
(LACK OF SLEEP. DEPRESSION. ANXIETY. GUILT. ILLNESS.)
      C. WHAT DOES JESUS PRESCRIBE?  DO YOU THINK THAT IT WOULD DO ANY
GOOD FOR THESES PROBLEMS? LETS LOOK AT THIS.
      D. WHAT JESUS PRESCRIBED:
            1. COME TO JESUS;
            2. GIVE YOUR LOAD TO HIM ("BURDENED, I GIVE YOU REST.");
            3. TAKE HIS YOKE.
      E. WHAT IS JESUS YOKE?  ARE YOU TRADING ONE BURDEN FOR ANOTHER?
            1. TELL ME WHAT A YOKE IS IN REAL LIFE? (NOT THE EGG ONE) (DRAFT
ANIMALS)
            2. DOES IT MAKE THE LOAD EASIER OR HEAVIER? (THE LOAD IS A LOT
EASIER BECAUSE YOU SHARE IT.)
            3. WHY DOES JESUS SAY, "TAKE MY YOKE AND LEARN FROM ME?"
(TAKING JESUS "YOKE" IS TO STUDY AND LEARN ABOUT HIM.)                   
 (THERE ARE THREE VERY IMPORTANT IDEAS HERE.  1. JESUS SAYS THAT IF WE
TAKE UP THE YOKE OF LEARNING ABOUT HIM, WE HAVE THIS REST. 2. THE YOKE
IS A SIGN OF SUBMISSION. ONCE WE LEARN ABOUT HIM, WE SUBMIT OURSELVES
AND OUR BURDENS TO JESUS. 3. THE YOKE IS A LOAD SHARING DEVICE AND JESUS
IS SHARING THE LOAD WITH US. HIS YOKE IS EASY AND HIS BURDEN IS LIGHT.)

III. WITHERED HAND
      A. THIS IDEA OF LEARNING MORE ABOUT JESUS AND OBTAINING A REST
FROM IT IS FURTHER DEVELOPED IN THE STORIES ABOUT SABBATH KEEPING
FOUND IN MATT. 12:1-13.  LETS GO TO THE SECOND STORY: THE MAND WITH THE
WITHERED HAND.
      B. READ MATT. 12:9-14. MARK ENDS THIS STORY WITH THE SAYING, "THE
SABBATH WAS MADE FOR MAN, NOT MAN FOR THE SABBATH."
      C. IF A SHEEP FELL INTO A PIT, WOULD THAT BE AN EMERGENCY? (YES)
      D. DID THE MAN'S HAND GET WITHERED THAT DAY? WAS THIS AN
EMERGENCY?  DID JESUS HAVE TO HEAL THE MAN ON THE SABBATH?  WOULD
THAT NIGHT OR SUNDAY HAVE DONE JUST AS WELL?
      E. IS THE QUESTION OF WHETHER WE HAVE AN EMERGENCY THE REAL
ISSUE? (NO)
      F. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE PURPOSE OF THE SABBATH?  WHAT DOES THIS
"SABBATH MADE FOR MAN AND NOT MAN FOR THE SABBATH" HAVE TO DO WITH
IT?
(THE WHOLE IDEA IS THAT THE SABBATH IS NOT AN END IN ITSELF.  KEEPING THE
SABBATH TO KEEP THE SABBATH MISSES THE POINT.  THE PURPOSE OF THE
SABBATH IS TO HELP MAN.  WHAT HELPS MAN "REST", AS WE JUST LEARNED FROM
THE YOKE STORY, IS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT GOD. IF WE INCREASE OUR ABILITY
TO KNOW GOD, SERVE GOD, AND HELP OTHERS
WE ARE KEEPING THE SABBATH.  IF WE CONCENTRATE ON NOT DOING CERTAIN
THINGS ON THE SABBATH, WE ARE NOT KEEPING IT.)
      G. WHY WOULD YOU GUESS THE PHARISEE NOW DECIDED TO KILL JESUS?(IT
BECAME CHRYSTAL CLEAR THAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM AND JESUS
WAS NOT VARYING INTERPRETATIONS OF THE LAW, BUT A FUNDAMENTALLY
DIFFERNT APPROACH TO IT.)

IV. BRUISED REED.
      A. DO YOU THINK THAT WE SHOULD BE LIKE JESUS?
      B. READ MATT. 12:20-21.
            1. WHAT IS A BRUISED REED? A SMOLDERING WICK? (A LIFE THAT IS
NOT QUITE RIGHT.)
            2. WHAT IS JESUS ATTITUDE ABOUT THE REED THAT IS NOT RIGHT AND
THE LIGHT THAT IS NOT SHINING? (HE DOES NOT ADD TO THEIR BURDENS, HE GIVES
THEM HOPE.)
            3. WHAT ABOUT TELLING THE BRUISED REED THAT IT IS BRUISED AND
THE SMOLDERING WICK THAT IT IS NOT GIVING LIGHT, JUST SMOKE? (NOT UNTIL
THE JUDGMENT--"HE LEADS JUSTICE TO VICTORY.")

V. BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT.
      A. JESUS HEALED A MAN WHO WAS: 1.BLIND, 2.MUTE, AND 3. DEMON
POSSESSED. READ MATT. 12:23-24. THE PEOPLE SAID MAYBE THIS IS THE MESSIAH
AND THE PHARISEES SAID THIS IS THE DEVIL.
      B. WAS JIM BAKKER FROM GOD OR SATAN?
      C. SAME QUESTION, JIMMY SWAGGERT?
      D. MR. HILL, SAME QUESTION, BILLY GRAHAM?
      E. READ 12:31-32. DOES THIS HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS ISSUE? (YES.
IF WE SAY THAT THE WORK OF THE H.S. IS FROM THE DEVIL, WE HAVE
BLASPHEMED AGAINST THE H.S.-WHICH IS A SIN THAT IS NOT FORGIVEN.)
            1. JESUS MAKES THREE POINTS HERE:
                  a. THE DEVIL IS NOT GOING TO ATTACK HIMSELF. SO WE BETTER
BE PRETTY CLEAR WHAT SAY WHEN DEAL WITH A PERSON WHO IS WORKING
AGAINST THE DEVIL.
                  b. BY THEIR FRUITS YOU WILL KNOW THEM (12:33)
                  c. THIS IS A SERIOUS MATTER--SAYING THAT SOMEONE IS FROM
THE DEVIL.

VI. THE NEED TO HAVE JESUS IN OUR LIFE.
      A. READ MATT. 12:43-45.
      B. ANY IDEA WHAT THIS MEANS? SHOULD WE KEEP OUR HOUSES DIRTY AND
DISORDERLY?
      C. WHY DOES THE EVIL SPIRIT LEAVE? (SENT AWAY BY THE "HOMEOWNER."
      D. WHAT IS MEANT BY A CLEAN ORDERLY, BUT UNOCCUPIED HOUSE? (THE
H.S. DOES NOT LIVE THERE.)
      E. AND THE RESULT? (MUCH WORSE.)
(THE IDEA IS THAT IF WE HAVE A PROBLEM IN OUR LIFE, WE THROW THE DEVIL
OUT--IE. WE OVERCOME IT FOR A WHILE.  IF WE DO NOT HAVE THE H.S. IN OUR LIFE,
THE DEVIL WILL COME BACK, AND HE WILL COME BACK WITH A VENGENCE.)

VII. NEXT WEEK: MATT. 14-16. ARE MIRACLES A SAFE TEST OF THE H.S. PRESENCE?