Are you the one?

In Lent 24 by Bruce LogueLeave a Comment

The disciples of John the Baptist reported all these things to him. So, John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?”

Luke 7:18-23

John the Baptist was serious about everything he did. During the years of his ministry, he was a truth-teller, fully committed to the message that he had been given by God. This message was that the Messiah was coming, and John’s listeners should get their life ready for that eventuality.

So committed to telling the truth, John told King Herod, also known as Herod Antipas, that he should not be married to Herodias, the wife of his brother, Philip. Speaking truth to power can get you killed in any age, nevertheless John fearlessly told the truth, and Herod beheaded him as a consequence.

Therefore, it is not surprising that John wanted to make sure about Jesus. Being the truth teller that he was, John would have wanted to know if he had pitched his support and worship behind the right person. Was Jesus the Messiah or not?

In Luke’s gospel, there is no indication that John the Baptist had thrown his support fully toward Jesus, nevertheless John is a hopeful individual and seeks confirmation of his hope. “Are you the one?” I imagine John thinking to himself that Jesus had all the marks of a Messiah. Still there was the niggling doubt arising from the fact that Rome was still in political power. “Are you the one; I thought you were going to deal with Rome?”

Jesus sends back word to his imprisoned friend that, “…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.” In essence, Jesus was saying, “Believe your eyes; I am the one.”

Something to think about: In an age of doubt, John is a good model of what it looks like to be fearlessly committed to truth telling. Especially in this age of the conspiracy theory. What gives you confidence in Jesus’ message and ministry? Would you say you are fearless about truth or sometimes beguiled by other ideas?

Something to pray about: O God, we thank you for the example we have of John – wilderness preacher who risks all for truth. May we be equally committed to knowing more fully about you and willing to say that out loud. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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