Today's Reading: Genesis 39-40; Matthew 11
And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?" (Matthew 11:2-3)
John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus. Isaiah 40:3 and Malachi 3:1, he was prophesied as the messenger who would prepare the way for the Messiah. He was the one anointed in his mother’s womb and filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:41), and appointed by God to bear witness of Jesus, the Son of God. John the Baptist was the one who baptized Jesus and witnessed the Holy Spirit’s descent upon Him like a dove (John 1:32). This same John the Baptist is now wondering if this Jesus is the real Messiah. Should he look for someone else? What happened to John? What went wrong with his faith?
The Messiah was expected to come to earth and to set up His kingdom. Jesus, therefore, was the long-awaited King of the Jews. Everyone who believed in Him fully expected the prophecies of His earthly reign to be fulfilled in their day. But Jesus would answer John’s question showing a much different purpose for His coming than what John and the Jewish people expected. Jesus sent back the message that “The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them” (Matthew 11:5). Jesus did not come the first time to set up His kingdom; He humbled Himself and died on a cross for our sins. He came as the final sacrifice. Jesus came to serve, not to be served. So John’s expectations were not met, thus, he began to question (or doubt) if Jesus was the true Messiah.
How often do we put Jesus in our box and look to Him to meet our expectations? What happens when Jesus does not meet us the way we think He should? It is in those moments that our faith is tested the most. As humans, we tend to have very short memories. We forget so quickly how real the Lord has been to us, only to experience those moments when we wonder if He was ever real at all. Pray that your faith is strengthened in times of testing. Pray that you do not forget all that Jesus has done in your life. Pray that you never doubt that He is the true Son of God.
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