Read Matthew 11.
A lot of times I feel like I can resonate with John the Baptist to some degree. (Note: I am far from being persecuted for the sake of the Gospel. Being persecuted is far worse than any trial we could endure. But even trials, help us to need that confirmation too). I mean, he is sitting in prison. He is awaiting what is going to happen to him. He is probably wondering how long it will last. Yet, he is needing the kind assurance that Jesus is who He says He is.
“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 (vv. 2-3)?”
Let’s be real: Even if we aren’t in prison, we are facing different circumstances where we are wondering…
- When will this be over?
- How will I get through this?
- What will happen?
- How will my heart survive this much aching?
We need the calm assurance of Jesus the Christ! We need Jesus to speak His amazing words of truth into our midst. It doesn’t matter what we are facing right now, we all need the healing words of Jesus to spur us on. And how awesome it is that even the forerunner needed confirmation from Jesus too!
In Luke 1, we learn about John and all God designed him to be. He would be used greatly in God’s Kingdom. Yet, he still needed confirmation. It’s okay to ask God to give you reminders of who He is.
It is welcomed, in fact!
Let’s glean, alongside John the Baptist’s crew and hear what they heard. Jesus told them –
“Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me (vv. 4-6).”
This is the God we serve!
The blind receive sight.
The lame walk.
Those who have leprosy are cleansed.
The deaf hear.
The dead are raised.
The Good News is proclaimed to the poor.
How have you been blessed by the Lord Jesus?
The Message We All Need
In our times of struggle, we need to have this confirmation.
In our times of success, we need to hear this message
It does not matter who you are, because this is one message your spirit desperately needs to hear!
Lord Jesus, fill our hearts with hope even when discouragement surrounds us Even when stuff is going on in our lives… Even when the noise is 100% louder and longer than the silence… Keep reminding us of Your eternal hope. You are the Good News we need to hear about.
When the trials seem unending.
When kids are loud and you crave silence
When your spirit is broken.
When your spirit is excited.
…. We all still need the words of truth that Jesus provides hope for the believer.
For those who plant their trust in Christ, we enter a beautiful place of hope. Jesus’ hope can outshine any circumstance. Even prison. Even illness. Even financial hardships.
Whatever we face, Jesus and His hope is still greater – and can reach us in the deep places of our hearts and lives.
How can you plant your trust in Jesus today, and receive His everlasting hope?
About John and the Kingdom
Jesus describes John the Baptist, as a great man. He was handpicked by God as “the forerunner”. In Malachi (3:1), we are reminded that John was prophesied about beforehand. Jesus knew John was great. Yet… Jesus uses this opportunity to share the Gospel.
“yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he (vv. 11b).”
The Kingdom of God has been subjected to such violence. Many have been killed, because they not only know the truth – but they also proudly declare it to the world. The Gospel is going forth. But, people must decide. How will they respond to the Gospel? How will they respond to the confirmation that Jesus is who He says He is? How will we respond to the Gospel on a daily basis?
“Whoever has ears, let them hear (vv. 15).”
Jesus is the Son of God, who willfully eats with tax collectors and sinners.
We need to really ponder in our hearts how we have respond to Jesus.
We need to consider how we have rejected Jesus Christ as the great Savior of the world! Even when met with miracles powerfully declared by God, folks are rejecting Christ as Lord. They have rejected the One who came to save them from their sins and give them new life – including a love relationship with their Savior Jesus!
In everything Jesus does, He brings glory to God. He does it for God. He is seen living in action about everything the Father has told Him about.
Jesus doesn’t skip a beat. He is there reassuring us of the truth found in our heavenly Father. He is encouraging us and giving us strength for the journey!
We need those truths. We need to remember the Jesus we serve! We need to remember how Jesus ends this chapter.
We are called to come.
We are invited to come running to God through Jesus.
Come, Oh weary soul, and find rest.
Come to Jesus. You don’t need perfect circumstances. You simply need Jesus Christ and the everlasting hope that He provides.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (vv. 28-30).”