Weekly reading: Luke 7:18-35 (Matthew 11:2-19)
Good morning friends,
Spring is on it's way! Up to 12 degrees today! Things are looking good, and God is still in control. If you were John the baptist, locked in a Roman prison, life would not be so good. Especially, remembering that you were the one who announced that the Messiah, Deliverer of the oppressed, Healer of the sick, and Freer of the captive was here...as was the kingdom of God. John baptized this Jesus, who would set His people free. Yet, John was not experiencing freedom at all, but more bondage than ever. John was having a crisis moment of unbelief. He had preconceived ideas of what Jesus was going to be and do, and Jesus was not meeting his expectations, in his timing. In other words, John had fashioned a god in his own image, who would do things according to his own method and timetable. Sound familiar?
How does Jesus respond to the question John asks, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” (NLT vss. 19-20) Jesus simply reminds John of what God (Jesus) is doing now. Look at the miraculous things that are being done NOW, not what you think should happen. Our present circumstances should not cloud our vision of who God is. Jesus implies that it is a sight problem - "what did you go out to see", repeated 3 times (vss. 24-26). Jesus gives sight to the blind, repeated twice (vss. 21-22). Blessed is the person who is not "offended" (literally scandalized) by me (vs. 23). Oh how many I have seen offended at God because He didn't do things their way! Their preconceived ideas blinded them to what God was doing in the here and now.
Jesus closes this teaching on who He is by a simple illustration of children playing in the city square: ‘We played wedding songs,
and you didn’t dance, so we played funeral songs, and you didn’t weep.’ (vs.32). In other words, people are not responding to what they see and here. Instead they criticize because it doesn't meet their expectations (vss. 33-34). Jesus says, "But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it." (NLT vs. 35). In other words, trust God's methods by following His ways. His wisdom will prove to be the right choice. He knows what He is doing!
Keep your eyes on Jesus, even when it doesn't meet your expectations.
18 The disciples of John the Baptist told John about everything Jesus was doing. So John called for two of his disciples,19 and he sent them to the Lord to ask him, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?”
20 John’s two disciples found Jesus and said to him, “John the Baptist sent us to ask, ‘Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?’”
21 At that very time, Jesus cured many people of their diseases, illnesses, and evil spirits, and he restored sight to many who were blind.22 Then he told John’s disciples,“Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard—the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.”23 And he added, “God blesses those who do not fall away because of me.”
24 After John’s disciples left, Jesus began talking about him to the crowds.“What kind of man did you go into the wilderness to see? Was he a weak reed, swayed by every breath of wind?25 Or were you expecting to see a man dressed in expensive clothes? No, people who wear beautiful clothes and live in luxury are found in palaces.26 Were you looking for a prophet? Yes, and he is more than a prophet.27 John is the man to whom the Scriptures refer when they say,
‘Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
and he will prepare your way before you.’
28 I tell you, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of God is greater than he is!”
29 When they heard this, all the people—even the tax collectors—agreed that God’s way was right, for they had been baptized by John.30 But the Pharisees and experts in religious law rejected God’s plan for them, for they had refused John’s baptism.
31 “To what can I compare the people of this generation?”Jesus asked.“How can I describe them?32 They are like children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends,
‘We played wedding songs,
and you didn’t dance,
so we played funeral songs,
and you didn’t weep.’
33 For John the Baptist didn’t spend his time eating bread or drinking wine, and you say, ‘He’s possessed by a demon.’34 The Son of Man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!’35 But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it.
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