Matthew 11

There is a  story in Matthew 11 that I constantly go back to. John the Baptist who spent his life on the out skirts of town telling people about God and telling them to repent is now sitting in prison. This is the same John who not only prophesied about the coming of God to earth, Jesus, but also baptised him. After baptising him he witnessed the heavens open up and heard God speak about his favor on Jesus. So from the get go this guy has got more first hand info on Christ than any of us do. He has seen things that he knew were coming, come to life.  But now, he’s sitting in prison. And beginning to wonder what the heck is going on. See he believed, like others of that day, that Jesus was going to be a king that was going to bring about huge change, or liberation, by political and military power. He believed God was coming in with a bang. But instead, Jesus, who again he witnessed several miraculous things with, came in a very quiet and peaceful and loving manner. Instead of screaming how the wretched will be destroyed he healed the sick. Instead of destroying the evil rulers, he walked around preaching “blessed are the meek”. Not what John was expecting.

First point. How many times have you thought that you knew what God was doing, only to have it flipped flopped around so fast, quick, and painful that you completely lose site of what is really going on?

So John, sends his disciples to Jesus to ask him one question. “Are you the one we have been expecting?” Ok. Here’s the deal. Even John the baptist questioned Jesus. Questioned his own faith and was sending a messenger to basically say, “Ok, here’s the deal. I knew you were coming, I prepared you a way, ate crazy food and dressed really funny but now I am sitting here rotting in prison and I kinda feel like either one, I got a bum deal or two, you ‘re not who I thought you were”.

Point two, how many times have we questioned God?

Jesus goes on to tell the messengers, “go and tell John what you have witnessed” and assures them that “blessed are those who understand what is afoot and stay on My narrow path”. He then decides to tell the crowd around him about who John the baptist really was. There was probably a huge misunderstanding about who he was among the religious leaders. And in telling them about who John was, he was then able to transition into telling them about who he must be as well. The savior of the world, the Prince of Peace.

One more thing about this chapter. Jesus says to the people that basically they cannot be pleased. He points out that when John was doing his thing they called him crazy. And now that Jesus is doing his thing they believe he’s a drunk sinner. He ends the conversation with this statement, “wisdom will be vindicated by her actions, not by your opinions”. Brilliant.

 

Shalom….

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