"Are You The One?"
When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, "Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?" Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: 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. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me." Matthew 11:2-6 (NRSV)
In today's reading, we find that John the Baptist was imprisoned because of his preaching. While in prison, John heard about the works of Jesus and sent two of his disciples to ask, "Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?" (NIV) John's question puzzled Victoria P. Creel, from Alabama. Hadn't John preached about Jesus and even baptized him? (See Matt. 3:11-17) Was John hoping for Jesus to come and rescue him?
Like John, as a follower of Christ, Victoria sometimes had doubts. Even though she knew in her heart that God is real and trust-worthy, at times she still wrestled with questions like, "Lord, are you there? Do you really care that I'm going through these difficulties?" Sounds like most of us; I know I have had those moments. Victoria recalls once praying earnestly, but the answer she sought did not come. She is lucky if it only happened to her once. She felt as if God had let her down. She was upset and bewildered, and asked, "Why, Lord?" After calming down, she felt as if God were asking her, "Do you still love me? Do you still believe in me?"
Victoria can remember and identify with Jesus' reply to John's question: "Blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me." Even when Victoria doesn't understand why the answers to her prayers are slow in coming or come in different ways than expected, she still believes that God is faithful and loves her. We can do the same. We can still love and trust God no matter what circumstances we are in.
Prayer: Dear Lord, when disappointments come our way, please help our faith and love for you to remain strong, in Jesus' name, amen.