.This continues my recent post titled Doubting Jesus, “The web of doubt spinning in his darkness…the message John the Baptist sent to Jesus was:
“Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”
The curiousness of this question is that it is his response to what he had just been told about Jesus’ extraordinary miracles. Here’s a bit of the back story: all of Judea and the surrounding country was abuzz with some of Jesus’ latest miracles, of which the raising of a widow’s son from the dead was most astonishing. .
Jesus had such compassion on the hopeless situation of the widow, whose son was basically her provider and caretaker, that he walked up to the open casket where the son’s body was and said, “Young man, arise!” The young man literally sat up and started talking! Jesus then presented him back to his mom, alive and well. .
This thoughtful gift of life, hope and provision came wrapped in a jaw-dropping miracle. A holy fear gripped everyone and they began glorifying God. Word got out that “God has visited his people!” .
I’m guessing ripples of this story had reached John the Baptist’s ears as he sat chained in the damp, dark, dungeon. Even so, his disciples proceeded to give him the accurate, unabridged version upon their next visit to him. .
John’s response? “Ask Jesus if he is the one to come, or should we keep looking for another?” .
Seriously, John? That is your response? A question of doubt? .
You were supposed to rejoice and be happy! That was some kind of miracle! Weren’t you completely blown away by that? A prophet like you should have glorified God, for who else can speak to the dead and make them live? .
Like you and I, John the Baptist was completely human. Men and women of faith are, you know. Even those of us called by God and used for His glory can come to a point in our trials and temptations, we find it hard to rejoice when the same wonderful things are not happening for us.
Is it envy? Jealousy? Coveting another’s miracle?
God visited them, so why doesn’t he visit me? The why me? question in our trials are often followed by the what about me!? complaint. Have we succumbed to the erroneous thought of who Jesus is supposed to be for me and what wonderful things he is supposed to do for me that we forget his chief purpose and his greatest miracle? .
It’s almost as if we are disappointed in him.
Jesus’ reply to John the Baptist’s doubt was this:
“Tell him what you’ve seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the sick are healed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news preached to them. Happy are those who are not disappointed in me.”
That answer gives the essence to the prophecy foretold of the Messiah in Isaiah 61. He was reminding John that He is the fulfillment of that passage, and that John’s faith needed to be firmly placed, once again, in that fact, and in that fact alone.
John well knew that Isaiah’s prophecy was not only about temporary miracles, but about God visiting us for an eternal purpose. The successive chapters in Isaiah are about salvation; about wrath, mercy, and justice.
Jesus’ answer in fact was about the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. “Don’t be disappointed in me, John. I am exactly who you’ve proclaimed me to be all along.” .
Jesus’ reply was an invitation for John to recover his faith, to overcome disappointment and find happiness in the greatest truth of all. .
Your invitation to Jesus today is to do the same. .
“Blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” Luke 7:23