Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What do you hear and see? Mattew 11:2-11

John, the forerunner of God's kingdom, sat in prison. He sent his followers out to ask Jesus, are you the one? (Matthew 11:2-3) Imagine John waiting in prison. He may have looked out of place but he didn't act like he was out of place. He wasn't used to confinement. He likely seemed limited and even vulnerable to his captors. The crowds knew him as strong, untamed, and faithful to God--imagine that man in a cell. When the king brought him out of his cell John preached the same unvarnished message as before he was imprisoned: repent of your sin, the kingdom of heaven is coming near. Even in prison John was no mere reed blown in the wind (Matthew 11:7-9). Jesus echoing Malachi's words 5 centuries earlier said,

This is he of whom it is written,
“‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way before you.’ Matthew 11:10 ESV
The king, Herod, liked to listen to him; but he wouldn't turn from his sin and change his lifestyle. And so it went for John up until his death confined but still faitful to his calling to prepare the way for the Lord.
John was the messenger prophets saw coming first(Malachi 3:1). And now he sat waiting for the one would come next. Jesus responded to John's question, "are you the one?" telling John's followers to report of what they saw and heard (Matthew 11:4-6). Jesus fulfilled the promises made by prophets like Isaiah envisions centuries before (Isaiah 35:5-6). He open blind eyes and unstopped deaf ears. He healed making broken people whole. This was the report that Jesus wanted to go back to John in prison. This is the news we as a church have to share this Christmas with the world. God has come and he has brought healing for this hurting world.
Are you the one? This is a great Christmas question to ask of everything you place high up in your life. Whatever it is you are passionate about, ask are you the one. You might ask it later this week as you sort through possible presents for your kids, a coworker who's name you drew for the gift exchange, your spouse, or your parents. Are you the one? Are you flashy video game or shiny trinket the one that might satisfy the deep soul needs of a person in my life? Are you semi-precious object the thing that will convey words of love to someone I can't say? Are you the one flashy tablet or computer that will satisfy the deep needs of a soul that yearns to be loved by God and the people nearby. Christmas is a great time to look at all the things we have and give. The truth is no object no matter how cool or technically advanced or expensive can ever cut the mustard. They simply aren't enough.
What we need today is Jesus. What we need today is a God who is enough. Paul spoke to the Church in Corinth about God's grace being enough 2 Corinthians 12:9. Jesus is the one who meets our needs. Giving his love at Christmas is the one thing that we can give that will last and make a lasting difference in our lives.
Peace and thanks for reading, John
PS a prayer request. I am looking forward to a day in court as part of a divorce proceeding. Please pray for my 3 girls, their mom, and me in the days ahead.

No comments: