I’ve been doing a devotional on the YouVersion Bible App called “100 Days with Jesus” after I saw a tweet about it from my friend – shout out to Keji for the edifying tweets!
So today’s devotional was titled Jesus on John. For those who don’t know John, He is the forerunner of Jesus Christ. He’s Jesus Christ’s cousin, and had been testifying of Jesus’ Lordship from His Mother’s womb, through to adulthood, when he baptized Jesus, saw a dove descend upon Him from heaven and heard God’s voice say “This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”.
So now that we are all up to speed on who John is, let’s jump into the story. John was in prison, on what we now call “death row”, growing in more and more despair until he felt he had gotten his whole life’s purpose wrong. He got so stressed by his immediate condition that he doubted if Jesus was who He said He is and so he sent his disciples to go and ask Jesus “Are you the Messiah, or do we look for another?”
You might be sitting there thinking, how could John the Baptist, the man who did and saw all the evidence of Jesus being God, actually doubt Him? After everything? Well look in the mirror hunny, because more likely than not, you’ve also doubted if God was really God in one aspect or the other. Let’s take a better look at John’s perspective: John had been preaching about Jesus his whole life, he finally met and baptized Jesus, he was now in prison because of Jesus and could be executed any minute – yet this same Jesus that he’d devoted his life to, wasn’t coming to burst him out of the prison.
Imagine being in that position…can you remember a time when life got so hard you were finding it hard to believe God was watching over you? That’s how John felt.
So when John’s disciples pass his message on to Jesus, he basically told them “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen – the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.” (Matthew 11:5 NLT)
Basically, He quoted Isaiah in describing the miracles He had been doing. But the part that struck me most was the next verse: “And he added, “God blesses those who do not fall away because of me.” (Matthew 11:6 NLT)
The way I understood that verse this morning was like this: I may be disappointing you right now, but God blesses people who don’t give up – even when disappointed.
As the story of John’s execution follows on in the next chapter, we don’t even know if he ever got the message.
To me, this was Jesus being super real about our expectations of the Christian faith and I feel like this reality of Christianity isn’t spoken of enough. Sometimes our expectations aren’t in line with God’s and so it comes across as disappointment when things don’t go according to our plan.
So my prayer today and from now on, is for my expectations to align with God’s, and for the grace to accept when it doesn’t – and I suggest you pray this too as you continue your Christian race.
Till next time,
Dr. ETP xo