Reading: Matthew 11:2-6
Verse 2: “Are you the one who wa to come, or should be expect someone else?”
In our gospel text John the Baptist has been imprisoned. He is locked up for condemning King Herod’s marriage to his brother’s wife. John hears about Jesus and what he is doing. John sends some of his disciples to Jesus, asking, “Are you the one who wa to come, or should be expect someone else?” Before we turn to Jesus’ answer, though, let us consider why John asks this question. It is a question that others ask today. I think there are two possibilities as to why John asks this question. One is that he genuinely wants to know if Jesus is the Messiah. The other is that he is in prison and is reminding Jesus about that fact. John surely feels unjustly imprisoned and wouldn’t mind if Jesus did something about that.
Jesus responds by telling John of the fruit of his ministry. People are being healed and the god news is being preached. If you were one who received your sight back or were cured of a disease, you certainly heard the good news of Jesus Christ. But if you were unjustly incarcerated maybe you don’t hear Jesus’ words as good news. If you’re trapped in depression or grief or are enveloped in an addiction, you probably don’t see or feel much of this good news. If you are struggling to feed the kids, good news likely seems pretty distant. The suffering and other difficult situations that many are enduring can be a challenge to receiving the good news of Jesus Christ.
Most of us know and live in the good news. Most of us are comfortable, secure, provided for. Jesus calls us to walk with those on the margins, with those imprisoned, with those in need. Maybe the question for us today then is this: How do we live in ways that help others to know Jesus as the answer to John the Baptist’s question?
Prayer: Lord God, show me the way to live and love in ways that bring the good news into the places of suffering and want. But first, guide me to lead with practical help so that one day this new relationship has space to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Amen.