“Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to Him, ‘Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?’” Matthew 11:2–3.
John sent this word to Jesus because in his human mind things just weren’t adding up. He had been anointed by God, lived a humble life of servitude, fulfilled his calling and now he found himself alone facing the certainty of an unpleasant death.
John knew that Jesus was the Messiah. Why wasn’t He doing something? Why wasn’t He intervening? Why wasn’t He righting wrongs, rendering judgment on the wicked and delivering His people? Why was Jesus allowing John to suffer hardship?
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
John – as great as a man as he was – was only a man. And all of the knowledge that John had about the Messiah was only that of the knowledge of a man. He did not have a full and complete understanding of how and why God was working.
Only our great God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. Only He has a clear and perfect understanding of why and how things have gone, are going, and will go in our lives. He is the Shepherd and we are His sheep.
“It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.” Proverbs 25:2
Even though John could not understand it, God was working. John’s vision was limited by time and space – things that don’t restrict God or His workings or His plan.
John was seeking to search things out to ease any lingering doubt that the Enemy might be trying to accuse him of. In a sense John was asking Jesus for some encouragement, through a comforting word, that would help him in his time of need.
And Jesus in His great mercy and compassion renewed John’s mind and strength so that John could finish his race – to the glory of God, and for the good of countless Believers.
“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. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.’” Matthew 11:4-6
Jesus did not answer John’s question directly but reminded him of the great miracles that were taking place by His hand. No one had the power or the presence that Jesus had. His works left no doubt that He was the One.
Questions to ponder
1) Are your expectations of who God is and what He will do in your time of trial accurate? (see Luke 22:31, Romans 8:17). If not, how did you come to the expectations that you have?
2) What is truth? (John 17:17) How often are you reading the Bible (truth)?
3) What are the characteristics and benefits of God’s written word? (Psalm19:7-11) Why is this important, especially during times of spiritual warfare and trial?
4) In addition to renewing your mind in the written word when was the last time you renewed your mind and became encouraged by recollecting all of the times and ways that God has delivered you from past trials? (Psalm 92:1-4)
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© 2016 Michael Martin