Recently, I have been thinking about the passage in Luke 7, where John the Baptist is in prison…
He sends two of his disciples to Jesus with a question: ‘Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?’ (Luke 7:19) WHAT?! This is the same guy who stood in the river Jordan and pointed to Jesus saying, ‘Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!’ (John 1:29) The same guy who said ‘I am a voice crying out in the wilderness, “prepare the way for the LORD!”‘ and here he is asking Jesus if he was the Messiah…
I wonder, don’t we all ask Jesus that question when we are sat in some prison in our minds, or behaviour… Let’s be honest. I fluctuate from great faith to great doubt! Sometimes in the space of a morning! And yet, there is something deep within that keeps us pursuing God, even when we feel like we are just hanging on.
Look at Jesus’ response… ‘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.’ (v.22)
John knew the signs of the coming King. He knew the prophecies of old, he knew what to expect when the Messiah came. And this is Jesus’ appeal to Him. Check out the evidence!
I find myself asking: ‘are they the signs I would have expected?!’ Maybe a conqueror on a Shire Horse. Or in churchy terms… a nice service for an hour on a Sunday morning or an extensive church program offering nice activities to help us feel comfortable with our lives. We often miss the coming of God because we are busy looking elsewhere or caught up in needless tradition.
Jesus’ coming was with power and was found in amongst the drop outs, drug addicts, thieves, tax collectors, prostitutes and the down trodden of society. It was found in acts of compassion and mercy. The evidence points to who He is… The Messiah. The King promised of God.
Where are you seeing the signs of God’s Kingdom today? How are you joining in?