Jesus in HD 79: An Unexpected Visit From a Dear Old Friend

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Luke 7:18-19

18 The disciples of John the Baptist told John about everything Jesus was doing. So John called for two of his disciples, 19 and he sent them to the Lord to ask him, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?”

John the Baptizer is, by his own admission, was a walking contradiction. As you will hear in this PODCAST, he had a remarkable beginning, and yet a dismal crash and burn.

In a word, his faith in Jesus COLLAPSED, completely.

His is quite the story to tell. But as you will hear me say, it is John’s story to tell, not mine.

So, if you can employ a little sanctified imagination, I will do my best to be true to John’s story, and respectful of John’s memory, as I sort of try to “become” (if I can put it that way) John the Baptizer.

Firstly, we need to consider this question:  Does our theology, worldview, understanding of the Bible, and beliefs allow for any of us as committed Christ-followers to have a really bad day once in a while?

How about a really bad week, once in a while?  A really bad month?  A really bad season in our lives?

Or, does our theology demand that we, as committed Christ-followers, consistently walk in victory?

In other words, is “walking in defeat” the “forbidden fruit” for Christians today?  Does our theology allow for someone to struggle, or even loose, their faith?

I mean, when somebody’s world are rocked to the core, what is our typical response to that individual?  Is it to confront and correct them?  Is it to quote verses like Romans 8:28 – “…all things work together for good…”?  Do we, with Biblical backing, tell them to “get over it”?

Now, consider John the Baptizer – a walking fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.  THE messenger sent to the world to prepare the way for Jesus!

Yet, even John had a string of bad days.

Matthew 14:3-5

Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered John a prophet.

So, there John was, rotting in jail.

Surely, Jesus would free him… wouldn’t He?

Wouldn’t Jesus topple the existing government and bring about God’s kingdom?  Isn’t that what His and John’s ministries were all about?

Why else would God allow John to suffer in prison, if not to show His power through Jesus and liberate him from his chains?

I mean, if Jesus was going about the land healing slaves of centurions, why wouldn’t he be here setting John free?  Talk about a blow to one’s faith.  Jesus could have blessed John in any number of ways, but instead, John continually heard news of Jesus blessing others while he rotted in jail.

Have you ever felt like that?  Has your faith ever collapsed around you while you heard and saw others being blessed all around you?

Upon hearing the news of the healing of the Roman centurion’s slave, John sent two of his trusted friends to Jesus to find out the hard truth:  Is He the Messiah they had been expecting, or should they keep looking for someone else?  He waited in agony for them to return with Jesus’ answer.

Jesus’ perfect answer.

“I tell you, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John.”

Jesus said this of him, even as he doubted and his faith had seemingly failed.

Christ didn’t condemn John.  Nor will He condemn YOU.

So, does our theology, worldview, understanding of the Bible, and beliefs allow for any of us as committed Christ-followers to have a really bad day once in a while?

Yes.  Yes it does.  Just look at John the Baptizer’s story.  Look at Abraham’s, Sarah’s Moses’, Hannah’s, Gideon’s, Ruth’s, Zechariahs’, Thomas’, Peter’s.  The list goes on and on of people who found themselves “of little faith”.

And if you know someone whose faith is in a freefall.  Treat them with grace.  Grace that comes from Jesus, Himself.

For more encouraging and engaging podcasts and videos, visit the E-Squared Media Network at www.e2medianetwork.com

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