Sunday, April 9, 2023

Mark 6:17-20; Luke 7:18-28; Matthew 14:6-13

Like John the Baptist, we all have times when we question whether Jesus is the real deal, and whether following Him is worth it.

John the Baptist had been out in the wilderness, preaching and calling the people to repent and come back to God. He had told them that “he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie” (Luke 3:16), and when he saw the crowds begin to follow after Jesus, he said, “he must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Decreasing is one thing; being tossed into prison is something else. When things get that bad even the most zealous can start to wonder whether they made the wrong call.

Starting Out:
  1. What are some common sources of doubt in the lives of Christians today?
  2. Is there a difference between going through a season of doubt and becoming a doubter?
Read Mark 6:17-20:
  1. How did John the Baptist land in prison?
  2. Why might being in prison have raised doubts for John about Jesus’ identity?
Read Luke 7:18-28:
  1. Why are we sometimes hesitant to voice our doubts to God?
  2. How did Jesus respond to John’s doubts? What does that tell us about Him?
  3. Jesus mentioned six things that characterized His earthly ministry. How did these things give answer to John’s doubts?
Read Matthew 14:6-13:
  1. Looking at what happened to John, could it seem like his doubts were justified?
  2. What kind of faith is needed to keep trusting even in the midst of injustice and tragedy?
Taking it Home:
  1. What kinds of “prisons” tend to bring out doubts for you regarding Jesus?
  2. In those periods of discouragement and doubt, what most renews your courage and faith?
Ways to Pray:
  • Adoration: Praise God for His justice and righteousness.
  • Contrition: Confess your doubts and uncertainties to God, and ask for His forgiveness.
  • Thankfulness: Give thanks to God for His protection and provision, even in the midst of difficult circumstances.
  • Supplication: Pray for the courage and strength to stand up for what is right, even in the face of opposition or persecution.
Additional Scriptures to Engage with this week:
  • Romans 3:3-26
  • Exodus 4:1-17
  • Psalm 101
  • Romans 4
  • James 1:1-12
  • Ephesians 4:11-16