“Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” (Matthew 11: 3 NLT)
|John the Baptist in prison
In your spiritual journey, have you had some unfulfilled expectations? Has God done things you did not expect or did not do things you were expecting? Join the club. Even John the Baptist, the one of whom Jesus had said was the greatest who had ever lived (v. 11), found himself wondering if Jesus was the Messiah. Even the best of us at times have doubt. Are you looking for someone else?
John, the one who had prepared the way for the Lord, found himself alone in prison. For sovereign reasons known only to Jesus, he did not personally go to John. When trials persist for a long time, and God does not seem to be doing anything about them, there is a great temptation to question the fundamental truths of our faith. How did Jesus deal with John’s doubt? First, without being overly compassionate, he gave him the facts: “the blind see, the lame walk, the dead are raised to life” (v. 5). These are things that only the Messiah could have done. Facts not feelings are the basis of our faith. Then in the midst of John’s suffering, Jesus gave him a warning. “God blesses those who do not fall away because of me.” (v.6)
We should never judge God because of our circumstances, but judge our circumstances by the character if God. It is not difficult to become offended and fall away by what God allows to happen. God is good, just, and right in all, he does. Believe this, and you will see it. Wait until you see it and you will probably never believe it, always looking for something or someone else.
Image used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing