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How Much Longer?
by Judy Webb
"2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[a] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” (Matthew 11:2-6)
To be honest, John is puzzled. He has been imprisoned (some say) for perhaps a year now. His spirits are understandably low, and add to that, he has been envisioning a royal conqueror, a gifted soldier, a political leader, to come to the rescue. He can’t understand why he has been allowed to languish in this prison for so long.
How many times have we wondered just how long our current situation will continue? An illness has brought us to our knees, or an unexplained accident has crippled our will to go on, death, violence and fear abounds, and we wait for rescue. John the Baptist was in a similar situation, and he was powerless to stop his mind from reeling.
Now he hears through the inmate's grapevine, the buzz that Jesus has been healing people, and proclaiming that the poor and meek are blessed. What is happening here?
So, John sends a couple of his people to go check things out and report back. Can you relate? How often have we felt like we were in a prison and that the folks who could help out, didn’t? After a few weeks of this, we begin to get discouraged and doubtful. We question what we are doing, just sitting here when we could be acting.
Jesus recognized John’s worries for what they were, a human reaction to a situation only the Messiah could fix. Jesus then set about reminding the followers why he was sent, as he went on to tell John’s faithful followers just how much He loved and respected John. Jesus invited the followers to understand who John is, and, in turn, who He (Jesus) must be, the Messiah.
Are you in a prison of pain, captive to things outside your control? Take heart, take it to Jesus and allow His love to release you and fill you with hope and confidence. No matter how it plays out, as Believers, we are winners, victorious in Christ!
Silent Prayer – Eyes closed and heart open, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.