2021_02_08 Insight Post- Kim Feld
This week's reading- Matthew 11 & 12
As I read the Bible I am often wishing for more details. Matthew 10 ended with Jesus sending the disciples out to the “lost sheep of Israel” to proclaim that the kingdom of heaven has come near, and chapter 11 opens with Jesus going on to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. John the Baptist has been wrongfully imprisoned (we don’t know why yet but wait until Matthew 14 for details) and sends his own followers to find Jesus and ask Him if He truly was the Messiah. What? Didn’t we read back in Matthew 3 about John baptizing Jesus (somewhat hesitantly), saying in verse 14, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” John certainly seemed to know who Jesus was, so why the questions now? More details, please!
We don’t know exactly why John asked the question and seemed to be doubting but if I put myself in John’s shoes, I can see myself doing the same. John knows he is the forerunner for the Messiah, preparing the way and that’s exactly what he did through preaching a message of repentance. But now he is sitting in a jail cell – I would be wondering why. He may be confused about what’s happening, he’s away from his disciples with time alone to think and wonder. It seems natural to me that he might need some reassurance that he was on the right track. So, he sent his men to ask, “Are you the One?”
These few verses paint such a tender picture of Jesus for me. He could have been annoyed by the question, but He tells them to tell John exactly what he needed to hear: the blind see, the lame walk, the leper is cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and good news is being proclaimed. Jesus knew those words would bring reassurance that He was the Messiah. Then, as John’s disciples are leaving to tell John what Jesus said, Jesus honored John in front of the crowd.
If John the Baptist could have doubts, I think it’s reasonable to think that you and I might have them occasionally as well. Sometimes we need others around us, who have been part of our journey and can remind us of how far we’ve come. Reassurance often comes from remembering what Jesus has done, and how faithful He has been in my life. Claim His promises as if they are your own, because they are.
Executive Director of Education and Outreach