By Brooke Holt
“Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?’ And Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them’”. Matthew 11:2-5
John the Baptist -- the last of the prophets, forerunner to Jesus, and Jesus’ very own cousin – landed in prison after challenging King Herod and his adulterous relationship. How could this happen to such an important and beloved man? Clearly, John and his disciples were asking this same question. No one expected John’s life and ministry to end in prison. These unusual circumstances caused John to doubt Jesus’ identity, and so he sent his disciples to inquire of Jesus: “Are you the one?” (Matthew 2:3)
Jesus understands John’s disappointment and doubt. He answers John not with a simple yes or no, but with the work he was doing. Who else had healed the blind, caused the lame to walk, cleansed lepers of their disease, opened the ears of the deaf, and raised people from the dead?
This work of Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies and was the assurance John needed that truly Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah. Knowing this truth about Jesus did not change John’s circumstances. Sadly, he died in that prison. However, knowing this truth changed John’s perspective. Though John’s circumstances were hard, and his ministry would eventually cost him his earthly life, John had faithfully made the way for God’s beloved Son.
John believed and then experienced the full blessings of his belief. What about you? Do difficult circumstances cause you to doubt the goodness of God, the love of God, and his plans for your life? Bring your questions and doubts to the Lord today.
How might the Lord want to meet you in your challenges this Advent season? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Our honest prayer before God is evidence that we understand the ways He loves, cherishes, sees, and hears us. Through prayer, we can acknowledge with Hagar, “You are the living One who sees me” (Genesis 16:14). When we pray, we are affirming the same. Why do we often hide from this privilege? Why do we avoid God, the One who sees us as we are and stands ready to provide and answer us in his holy, timely way? In this 8-week study on the prayers of Job, Ruth, Hannah, and David, grow your prayer life by facing your honest need and bringing your whole self before God. Acknowledging God as the One who guides your path can change your heart. It can take you past fear and into faith, strength, and hope. Learn more about Honest Prayer.
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