Text: Luke 7:18-23
Messengers from John the Baptist
18 The disciples of John reported all these things to him. So John summoned two of his disciples 19 and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” 20 When the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’” 21 Jesus[a] had just then cured many people of diseases, plagues, and evil spirits, and had given sight to many who were blind. 22 And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers[b] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. 23 And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”’
John the Baptist had one task – to announce the coming of the Messiah. He did this everywhere he went. Clearly, this produced curiosity and searching on the part of John. He apparently had hunches about Jesus, but there was still a shadow of doubt. So John sent his disciples to ask, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting or should we keep looking for someone else?” Luke 7:18,19.
This question from John’s disciples had the weight of faith behind it. They would not have inquired if they did not entertain the possibility that Messiah was coming. “Are you he?” is a question shaped by an expectation, and it gives us a good picture of what it looks like when a person has faith which is burning a hole in his/her pocket. “Are you he?”
Waiting with expectation does that to a person. Questions arise based on the expectation. Actions follow, like inquiry and even discipleship. This is not just “curiosity killed the cat” kind of inquiry. Rather, it is born of hunger and conviction. “Are you he?”
Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
by Charles Wesley, 1744
Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.
Father in Heaven, In this Advent season we wait for the coming of your Kingdom led by our brother Jesus. May we live with expectancy and joy as we anticipate his coming in clouds of glory and also as we see him peeking through the lives of those who love you. We are weary with this world as it is and look forward to the day when you set things right and redeem this world. When smoke does not cloud our skies, when the poor and the hungry don’t exist anymore because of the generosity of your world, and when war is no longer considered or waged. We wait Lord. Please hasten. Amen.
Write a letter to a congressman or senator in which you ask him/her to help our nation be more compassionate and generous to people. After you mail the letter, think about the ways you’d like to be more invested in creating a world more like the kingdom of God.