Wednesday, October 27, 2010

2010 – October 27 – Asking All the Hard Questions

Study from God’s Word Many passages from the three synoptic Gospels, … chapters from the books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke in The Daily Bible in Chronological OrderPassage for Reflection: Luke 7: 20 … NIV When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to You to ask, ‘Are you the One Who was to come, or should we expect someone else?’ “

My Journal for Today: It’s an interesting conundrum. … Why would John the Baptist, of all people, send his disciples to ask Jesus if He was THE ONE and only Messiah? John the Baptist had been the one who baptized Jesus in the Jordan and would have heard God in Heaven declare Jesus to be God’s only Son. And John was Jesus’ first cousin and had likely grown up, knowing that his “cuz” was super special, possibly even seeing Him wax eloquent in the synagogue or Temple. And who knows, Jesus may have snuck in a few little miracles along the way to give John an inside track in knowing Jesus as the Messiah.

So, why then did John the Baptist dispatch his disciples to ask that very specific question of this man Jesus, the followers of John asking, “Are you (Jesus) the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else? Well, … I believe that John, knowing that his time was short, sent those who had been following him to Jesus so that these disciples could become disciples of the One they should follow rather than following John. And I also believe that Jesus’ cousin wanted these close friends and followers to hear the straight stuff directly from the mouth of the Messiah.

And most certainly, Jesus didn’t disappoint, did He? No, [reading Luke 7: 18-23] the messengers from John the Baptist saw Jesus perform many miracles; and Jesus told them to take this message back to John, saying, “…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.”

Do you remember the scene in Luke 4 where Jesus went into the synagogue in Nazareth and read from the Scripture there … from Isaiah 61: 1-2; and then Jesus declared that in their hearing that very day, those there in the synagogue had seen the fulfillment of that prophetic scripture because the One Isaiah spoke of was right there in front of them, in the flesh, reading Isaiah’s prophesy. And in that passage (go back and read it), we read of God prophesying the mission of the Messiah … to preach the good news to the poor, to give sight to the blind, and to set free the captives. And when Jesus spoke the words he did to the messengers of John the Baptist in today’s text, they too would have recognized, being knowledgeable of Scripture, that Jesus was declaring Himself, by the miracles they had witnessed and the words He proclaimed, that HE was THE Messiah.

So, what are the questions that you want others to ask of Jesus? Wouldn’t you want them to pray and ask the Lord if He is real? Wouldn’t you want them to ask Him to save them? Wouldn’t you want them to ask God to reveal Himself to any who might have follow you or believe in you? Well, if you’re a Christian, certainly you want others to see what you have seen or to follow Jesus the way that you pursue Him (assuming, of course, you do). And John the Baptist was no different. So, he led his friends to Jesus and helped them to get the right answers to the right questions.

So, why don’t you join me here today, thinking about someone in your life whom you’d like to send to Jesus; and let’s pray that they will ask the right questions from their heart[s] and get the answers they need to receive from God’s Spirit, Whose ministry it is to reveal the Messiah and bring God’s answers to the questions they seek.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, help others to see what I’ve seen and to know what I know … and that is YOU. Amen

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