Learning from John the Baptist.

Matthew 11

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 have been reflecting recently on the above passage of scripture, feeling it has important truths for me. I have been trying to imagine myself in John the Baptists shoes. What would I feel like if I were in prison following doing my best to serve God? What would be my primary concern and focus? What would I be praying about, what questions would I be asking God?

I think I would be asking mostly why questions. Why am I in prison? Why haven’t you protected me, or even performed a miracle to get me out of prison? Why hasn’t the revival I had been preaching for not come about? I would also be asking God to get me out of here!

However, that is not what John asks of Jesus, not what is most important or pressing to him. Instead, he asks, are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?

If Jesus is the promised messiah, the one who is to come, then nothing else matters. John can cope with being in prison, can cope with not being able to preach and serve God as he wanted. John knew that it is all about Jesus. If Jesus is the Messiah everything would be ok, everything would eventually turn out fine. Even if he, John, lost not just his liberty but also his life that was under the shadow of the truth that God had come in the person of Jesus. He would put everything right.

We know that God came in the flesh in the person of Jesus, that Jesus was the one that the Old Testament said would come to make all things right. That is more important than anything. More important than us being released from our prison of being victims of a virus or anything else. Nothing can take away that truth, nothing is more important than that truth.

We have a lot to learn from John the Baptist.

  1. Pat Timmins
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    Why do we always assume that if everything isn’t going according to plan (whose plan!) that somehow we’ve failed or worse still God has failed. If we truly believe that Jesus is who He says He is then nothing should shake us, not a virus or anything else. This seems to me to be a time when people’s faith is being put to the test. What an opportunity for us to dig deeper into God and His word until we really know that our security is in Him alone and He is for us.

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