Saturday 5 March, 2016
18 The disciples of John reported all these things to him. So John summoned two of his disciples 19 and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” 20 When the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’” 21 Jesus had just then cured many people of diseases, plagues, and evil spirits, and had given sight to many who were blind. 22 And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. 23 And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.” 24 When John’s messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? 25 What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who put on fine clothing and live in luxury are in royal palaces. 26 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27 This is the one about whom it is written, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ 28 I tell you, among those born of women no one is greater than John; yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” 29 (And all the people who heard this, including the tax collectors, acknowledged the justice of God, because they had been baptized with John’s baptism. 30 But by refusing to be baptized by him, the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves.) 31 “To what then will I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not weep.’ 33 For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon’; 34 the Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35 Nevertheless, wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”
God’s way is quite different to the world’s way. Instead of either John or Jesus coming with great fanfare, there were questions raised about both of them. Is this really who the Bible spoke about? They were not who people expected. Some people chose to ignore them because what they were saying didn’t fit with their picture of how God works.
It is a good question to ask ourselves as well. Do we believe what God says when it doesn’t match the picture in our head? When it means we might have to change the way we approach life or people? When God says things about how He views us that we don’t think are true?
God paints many pictures in the Bible about how valuable we are to Him as well as how valuable every individual is to Him. These are ideas that are easy to forget given how the world works. We need to read the Bible and understand what it actually says and what that means for how we should live our lives. We also need to ask God to open our eyes to see Him in our everyday lives.
Lord thank you so much that Jesus came to save us just as the Bible foretold. Thank you that John the Baptist fulfilled the role of messenger just as the Bible foretold. Thank you for the reminder that these things were not obvious to all and people of that day missed it. We can also miss what it is You say to us. Help us to hear and to see the path You have set out for each of us.
Written by Therese Manning
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