A Disturbing Question

Scripture Reading — Matthew 11:1-11

"Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" Matthew 11:3 — 

Have we had it all wrong? This disturbing question can cut right to the heart of our faith. When we've bet our life and eternity on Jesus as the only Savior, even the possibility of being mistaken is a terrible kind of suffering. John the Baptist had staked his life on Jesus, and now in prison he was agonizing and asking, "Are you the one?" If we are acquainted with this agony, we must also follow John's example and go to Jesus with our doubts and not sit alone, sinking into despair. Like John, we must give Jesus an opportunity to reply. We may regret that Jesus does not answer with a simple "Yes, I am the Messiah." But note that he also doesn't say, "No, I'm only a Jew who wants to revitalize our tradition." Jesus answers John in a kind of code, familiar to those who were steeped in Scripture. By quoting the prophet Isaiah, Jesus was telling John, "Yes, I am the Messiah." Only by the Messiah would "the blind receive sight, the lame walk," and so on. It was a staggering claim. Just as the first crocuses are clear signs that spring is coming, so Jesus' work of healing and preaching were signs that the kingdom of God was (and still is) coming. He is the One. Let's spread the good news that the prophet's hope is fulfilled in Jesus.

Prayer

Have we had it all wrong? This disturbing question can cut right to the heart of our faith. When we've bet our life and eternity on Jesus as the only Savior, even the possibility of being mistaken is a terrible kind of suffering. John the Baptist had staked his life on Jesus, and now in prison he was agonizing and asking, "Are you the one?" If we are acquainted with this agony, we must also follow John's example and go to Jesus with our doubts and not sit alone, sinking into despair. Like John, we must give Jesus an opportunity to reply. We may regret that Jesus does not answer with a simple "Yes, I am the Messiah." But note that he also doesn't say, "No, I'm only a Jew who wants to revitalize our tradition." Jesus answers John in a kind of code, familiar to those who were steeped in Scripture. By quoting the prophet Isaiah, Jesus was telling John, "Yes, I am the Messiah." Only by the Messiah would "the blind receive sight, the lame walk," and so on. It was a staggering claim. Just as the first crocuses are clear signs that spring is coming, so Jesus' work of healing and preaching were signs that the kingdom of God was (and still is) coming. He is the One. Let's spread the good news that the prophet's hope is fulfilled in Jesus.

 

Devotion topics: Christianity, Discipleship