Have you seen the car stickers that say “HE>i”? They are produced by a Christian-owned company on O’ahu that also sells clothing with the logo on it. It means He (Jesus) is greater than i and it is based on John 3:30. That’s where John the Baptist told his disciples to stop following him and start following Jesus. John said of Jesus: “He must increase and I must decrease.” In other words, “HE>i”. In October, Pastor G is going to be talking about just a few of the ways that statement is true when it comes to his life. His hope is that it will inspire you to consider the same thing in your life as well.
This week Pastor G shares how “God Is Greater Than My Doubts and Fears.“
“He must increase and I must decrease.” ~ John the Baptist
AFFIRMATION CHALLENGE: GOD IS GREATER THAN MY DOUBTS AND FEARS.
A voice cries out in the desert: “Clear a way for the LORD. Make a straight highway in the wilderness for our God.” ~ Isaiah 40:3
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near. ~ Matthew 3:2
So they asked John, “Why then are you baptizing if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands One whom you do not recognize, who is coming after me. I am not worthy to untie the strap of His sandal!… On the next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is the One about whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who is greater than I am, because He existed before me.’ ~ John 1:25-27, 29-30
He must become more important while I become less important. ~ John 3:30
Now when John heard in prison about the deeds Christ had done, he sent his disciples to ask a question: “Are You the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” ~ Matthew 11:2-3
Jesus answered them, “Go tell John what you hear and see: The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news proclaimed to them. Blessed is the one who has no doubts about Me.” ~ Matthew 11:4-6
Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. ~ Matthew 11:11
If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him! ~ Matthew 7:11
ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
READ: Isaiah 40:3 and Matthew 3:2
1) Why do you think God sent a prophet like John out into the desert/wilderness? Why not have him stand up on the corner of main street to do his preaching?
2) What do you think the phrase “clear a way for the Lord” is referring to? How about “make a straight highway in the wilderness for our God?”
3) What does it mean to repent? How does one do that? John said the kingdom of heaven was near to him and his time. Do you think he was right? Why or why not? What is the kingdom of heaven? Has the kingdom of heaven arrived? Explain your answer.
READ: John 1:25-30
1) Why is John unworthy to untie Jesus’ sandal? What’s so special about that?
2) What does John mean Jesus existed before him? Isn’t John the older of the two cousins?
READ: Matthew 11:2-14
1) Does it make you think less of John to see that he had some doubts and fears about Jesus while he was in prison? Should people of faith, especially leaders in the faith, be immune to doubts and fears? Why or why not? Do you ever suffer from doubts and fears?
2) How do you think John received the answer that Jesus sent back to him in verses 4-6?
3) Why does Jesus say that no one has ever been greater than John the Baptist? What was it about him that made him great?
4) Why does Jesus say whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is still greater than John? Is John the Baptist not in the Kingdom of Heaven?
5) What does Jesus mean by His statement in verse 12? In what way(s) since the time of John the Baptist has the Kingdom of God suffered violence? In what ways have forceful people tried to lay hold of it?
READ: Matthew 11:15-19
1) What is the tone of Jesus’ words in these verses? If you had to summarize verses 15-19, in your own words, using just a few sentences, what is the “big picture” of Jesus’ message in these verses?
2) What does Jesus mean by His statement “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” He uses this statement frequently in the Book of Revelation as well. Don’t most people have ears? What is Jesus really getting at here?