Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tough Passages

There are some extremely tough passages in the Bible. Tough enough to understand that people have abandoned their faith on account of them- supposedly!
Consider Matthew 11:2-6.
John the Baptist is in prison. Jesus is out there within earshot of John. We are never told Jesus came to visit John in prison. But John is hearing of the works of Christ, and this gets his curiosity. He sends his disciples to find the answer to this question: Jesus, are You the Expected One or do we look for someone else?
What prompted this question by the greatest man born of a woman (that is how Jesus describes John)?
It may well be that John is baffled by Jesus not acting on his behalf. John stood boldly before Herod and accused him of wrong doing. It got John imprisoned. But certainly Jesus would get him a free get out of jail card, right?
Doesn’t happen!!
And John is perplexed! And John begins to doubt! And John asks, is this the One we were expecting?
His disciples go to Jesus, and the answer stings like a jagged blade of a rusty saber. Jesus rattles off a list of miracles He is doing among the people and says go and say that to John. It is almost a slap in the face to John.
Everyone is getting a miracle except me in this prison. All those wretched sinners are getting healed and cured, and here I am, a righteous man of God, in this prison. Are You really the Christ?
Can you feel it?
And then for good measure, Jesus says, “And blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me.”
In other words, “John, grow up. I am doing what I am doing and you may not understand why or what or whatever, but don’t let your lack of comprehension cause you to jettison your faith.”
It’s a stunning passage.
And Jesus never rescues John.
John gets his head lopped off.
That’s faith- to hold on when nothing makes any sense. That’s faith- to persevere when it makes no sense to do so. That’s faith- when all around people are prospering and here John sits in prison! That’s faith- when faith is all there is left.
Thanks for your prayers!
We continue to walk in faith!

Jesus doeth all things well!

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