October 31, 2010

Nameless But Notable XI: Faith That Goes Thru Walls

"When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me." Matthew 11:2-6

A message in the form of a question coming from the man that paved the way for Jesus, that made His ways straight. The voice that cried from the wilderness that baptized Jesus and started His ministry now issues questions of doubt through messengers.

Was Jesus the One or had John been mistaken? If Jesus was the Messiah why would he allow John to languish in prison. I suppose when you're locked in a dank, dark and menacing prison unsure of your destiny you begin to doubt and the Devil attacks in you time of weakness. These messengers, John's disciples come to Jesus and He was performing His ministry. He was giving the blind sight, healing the lame so they can walk, curing lepers, giving hearing to the deaf, raising the dead, and spreading the good news to the poor.

Jesus tells them to go back to John and tell John what He [Jesus] has been doing. Did Jesus give John's disciples the cold shoulder because they were John's disciples? Of course not. Look what He tells them. Jesus tells them to tell John what they have heard and seen. Jesus was doing miracles. Jesus was manifesting supernatural healing ability which should've very clearly indicated to John that Jesus was indeed who John thought He was when he baptized Christ. With all the supernatural healing events in Jesus' ministry it was obvious that the Kingdom had arrived.

So John carries out his mission and is beheaded after sitting in jail. But before he is killed it is assumed that these men deliver their message to John. That message? Jesus brings the lost souls into the fold, cures the sick and heals the lame both physically and spiritually. John suffers his death but is glorified in Christ. Locked away and separated from Jesus, the only way John could get word from Jesus is though his messengers. John's situation is surprisingly similar to ours. We are prisoners to a world system until we get The Word from the Lord. Instead of stone walls between us and the Savior, we have a separation of centuries. The one unifying factor in both situations that saved John and will save us? Faith. Faith in the face of doubt. Faith in adversity. Faith in uncertainty. Faith when staring death in the face.

Who were these messengers? Unknown. What do we know? We know that the message Jesus sent back to john through these messengers also made it into the Bible for future generations including ours. The message of the Kingdom, the message of salvation made it through prison walls and it traversed intervening centuries to reach us in the Gospels. That is powerful.

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