“Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities. And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.””
Matthew 11:1-6 NKJV
Of all the figures in the Bible, I think most of John the Baptist. He was the forerunner to Jesus, sent as one to prepare the way for the coming Savior. His was a most difficult job, as he came to speak of the One who would bring truth and salvation to the world. He was born to be overshadowed, given the role of one pointing to the Light. He did his ministry to the glory of God, knowing that he would one day decrease.
“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.”
John 1:6-8 NKJV
He went about in increasing obscurity, as the stature of Jesus rose. He was a faithful servant, sent to tell the world of the One coming. I can imagine his later days, having been imprisoned for screaming truth to power, offending Herod for his evil deeds. As he languished, I am sure he had doubts, wondering if all that he had done and endured was worth it, and if this Jesus was indeed the One foretold.
As followers of Jesus, in these present times, it is very easy for us to feel very much the same as John the Baptist did. The world in which we live has gone through a paradigm shift, as the very foundations of the culture have been destroyed, and now we find ourselves sliding, heading into the unknown.
Believers around the world have experienced great trouble since the inception of the faith, and the heat has intensified greatly over the last few years. Having had relative peace, those followers who live in North America, will soon feel the same persecution as has pressured those around the world.
In that coming darkness, many of us will utter: “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?””
Matthew 11:3b NKJV
“The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.””
Matthew 11:5-6 NKJV
The addicted have been set free, the broken healed, the dead made alive, marriages restored, and the lost saved. One of the greatest things we will have to cling to is the strength of our individual testimonies. Each of us who have come to know the Lord, has a story to tell. We testify to the power of God to save lives and transform hearts. It is in fellowship that we find strength, as we share what the Lord has done.
We know that there is no other who has the power to save. I need only consider my own life, and the way that Jesus has taken an overwhelmingly damaged man and is transforming me into a useful vessel for His work. My life has been ruined for this world, as I have little usefulness to the evil one, as my desire are only to glorify my Lord.
Old me would not know the new me.
Brothers and sisters, let us know that we know that we know, that we have chosen the right one. Let us consider all the stories that we have around us, of people who have been delivered from lives of sin and condemnation.
One of the hazards of living life in a “holy huddle”, is that we have forgotten what sinners really look like. All the people around us are well behaved, and do not show the scars of sinful living. I rejoice in those brothers and sisters who still have the battle scars like I do, for the fragrance of fresh grace is still strong.
Let us embrace those who are new to the faith, who are being delivered from the sinful lives they used to have. Let us not dwell on their stumbles, but extend love and grace. In the time of John, the people could see those who were lame and now walk, those who were blind and now see. The were living proof of the power of God.
Let us rejoice with the newly saved, and embrace them, as they are the living examples of the power of God. Let us pray for them and walk alongside them, especially as the times become more dire, so that we have that constant reminder that Jesus is the the Coming One.
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!