Going Deeper 12-13-19

The Gospel reading for Advent 3…

Matthew 11:2-11  2 When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to him, "Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?" 4 Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. 6 And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me." 7 As they went away, 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? 8 What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. 9 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 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.' 11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

 

It would seem as though John the baptizer wasn’t completely sure that Jesus was indeed the long-awaited and much-anticipated Messiah/Christ.  We are not told why he was still questioning, other than that John had “heard in prison what the Messiah was doing.”  It is quite possible that even John was shocked by some of what Jesus did and said.  After all, Jesus was not fitting completely into anyone’s messianic paradigm.

 

Jesus responds by pointing to the fulfillment of Isaiah’s messianic prophecies (this week’s first reading) about the blind, lame, lepers and deaf being healed, the dead being raised, and good news being preached to the poor.  Yes, Jesus was indeed the Messiah.  He just wasn’t the type of messiah anyone had been expecting.

 

But John had done his job.  He had wonderfully filled the prophesied role of the one came to prepare the way, and Jesus paid John the highest of compliments: “among those born of women no one has arisen greater…”  Well done, good and faithful servant… even if you still had a few questions and doubts.

 

Serving Jesus and “preparing the way” for Him to come into the lives of others is the highest calling, one we share with John.  We do not need to be perfect or always have unwavering faith.  Question may linger for a time.  But Jesus was indeed “the one” who came to reconcile the world to God, and to bring the potential for God’s children to be reconciled to one another.  At the heart of His message (and our message) is grace.  God so loves the world, and He wants everyone to hear and receive that Gospel/Good News.

 

Let us prepare the way…

 

With You in His Service,

Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."