Signs of the Messiah

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Jesus told them, "Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen—the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor."

Matthew 11:4-5

The Gospel of Matthew honestly records the doubts of John the Baptist concerning Jesus. John had clearly proclaimed Jesus as the coming Messiah and had witnessed the miraculous events of Jesus' baptism (see Matt. 3:1-17), but he began to wonder whether Jesus was truly the Messiah or not. No doubt John was expecting a kingly figure who would purify Israel and deliver the nation from its Roman bondage. Jesus didn't fit this bill.

Jesus responded to John by pointing to the mighty acts of his ministry. This summary wasn't only meant to demonstrate that God's power was operating in Jesus. It also showed Jesus as the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy of the coming of the Lord: "And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!" (Isa. 35:5-6). So Jesus was indeed the Messiah who had come to inaugurate the kingdom of God, even though he was not doing what most Jews in his day expected, including John the Baptist.

There are many times in our lives when God does not fulfill our expectations for him. In these times of uncertainty, we can turn away from God in disappointment, or, like John, we can come to God with our doubts. If even someone as godly as John the Baptist didn't have it all figured out, surely this gives us confidence to lay our doubts and questions honestly before the Lord.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: When has God failed to fulfill your expectations for him? What did you do? Are you struggling even now with questions about what God is doing and not doing in your life? Are you bringing those questions to him?

PRAYER: Gracious Lord, as one who often struggles with feebleness of faith, I am greatly encouraged by this story. If John the Baptist struggled with uncertainty, then surely I should not be ashamed of my own doubts.

Thank you for the example of John, who is honest about his questions, and who goes straight to the source for answers. When I'm unsure, help me to come to you openly and boldly. May I approach your throne of grace with confidence that you will hear me and help me. Amen.

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