Jan. 10, 2021
The New Normal
Matthew 11:2–3, 11; 4:12–13; 11:6; John 11:3, 5–6
Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed—for UNTIL THEN they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. Then they went home.
a. What do we do when there’s ____________ we can do?
b. What do we do when there’s no way ____________ or no way out?
c. When this happens, there are at least three things we are tempted to conclude:
i. We’ll never be ____________ again.
ii. Nothing ____________ can come out of this.
iii. There’s no point in continuing…we are tempted to ____________ up.
2. Remember: God is not ____________, apathetic, or angry.
a. Embracing this truth is critical to winning the battle.
i. We want to know God ____________.
ii. We want to feel God’s ____________.
Yet we are all ____________: We jump from “Not sure I want God intervening in our lives.” to “Why won’t God intervene?”
b. Matthew: Jesus, John, and the Exhausted People
“When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
i. John is actually one of Jesus’ favorite ____________.
John announced him: “Behold, the Lamb…”
They are ____________ to one another.
Jesus called him the greatest ever.
“Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist…”
ii. When Jesus heard…
“When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison…he withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum…”
iii. By the time John sends this message to Jesus, he’s been in Herod’s desert dungeon for over a ____________.
iv. A ____________ later Jesus says: Tell John I’m the one. Tell him about all the healings, all the things I’m doing…for ____________ else.
“Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
v. We could paraphrase this verse as…
“There will be times when I don’t make sense. Happy is the man or woman who maintains faith anyway—who believes and trusts anyway.”
“Blessed is the one who does not confuse my silence for absence.”
c. Jesus, Lazarus, and the Sisters
i. Sometime later, Jesus and his disciples are at the very spot where John used to baptize, and somebody comes running up with a message:
“Lord, the one you love is sick.”
They are close to where Lazarus lives…which is why Jesus’ reaction to this news is ____________.
“Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days…”
Don’t confuse God’s apparent absence for apathy. He’s not ____________ or ____________.
d. There are three things you will be tempted to believe UNTIL THEN.
i. Three lies:
I’ll never be ____________ again.
Nothing ____________ can come from this.
There’s no point in ____________.
ii. Which means UNTIL THEN we lose joy, hope, and purpose.
____________: I’ll never be happy again.
____________: Nothing good can come from this.
____________: There’s no point in continuing.
iii. Our ____________ are just circumstances; they are not proof of the presence or absence of God.
a. So, over the next 5 weeks, when you are tempted to grab hold of one of these lies…stop and boldly say:
i. I ____________ be happy.
ii. Something good ____________ come from this.
iii. There’s a purpose to this ____________.
b. Some of you will need this someday. Others need it today.
c. In times like this, we all need a reminder that God still holds the ____________ world— our world—in his hands.