Luke 7:18b-23 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?” 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?’” Jesus had just then cured many people of diseases, plagues, and evil spirits, and had given sight to many who were blind. And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”
Well that isn’t what I expected
I was watching the television show called the Voice the other night, and if you don’t know the premise of the show is supposed to be that people are only judged by their voice. The show works like this because the judges have their backs turned toward the stage and cannot see the person singing. If they decide that they like the voice they can choose the person for their team but can only see the singer if they choose them, which locks them in. This show is funny, but nothing is better than when they turn and say, “wow, I wasn’t expecting that at all”, as in, you don’t look the way I imagined you when I heard you. Mind blown!
John the Baptist was 6 months older than his cousin Jesus and he had been raised with the notion that he would be the one who proclaimed the coming of the Messiah, the savior. When John preached about the Messiah, he told people that the Messiah would come in swinging cleaning out all the filth, discarding the wicked and protecting the righteous. John had a clear picture of Jesus in his mind.
Soon, John ends up on the wrong side of the regional ruler and is stuck in jail. Apparently while sitting in jail John is getting updates as to what Jesus is doing, and Jesus isn’t cleaning out all the filth and casting the unrighteous into the fire. Jesus was healing and offering hope to the hopeless, no matter what their background was. Finally, John couldn’t take it anymore so he sent a couple of people to Jesus to ask him, on John’s behalf, “are you the one we are looking for or should we be looking for another?”. John is basically saying, you haven’t met any of my expectations or done what I said you would do, are you really the one or did I miss something? The truth is, John missed something, he had created a Jesus in his mind that the real Jesus would not ever live up to or should live up to. Jesus sent the messengers back to John with the simple message, everything that I should be doing I am doing. I like to think there was a subtle, “hey, you might want to rethink your position on who I am btw”. Jesus came and did exactly what he was supposed to do, but it didn’t meet John’s expectations. So often we have expectations of God and when he doesn’t meet them, we are disappointed or angry when in reality, we have created our own version of God that is actually nothing like who God truly is. As we move forward on the road, as he did for John, Jesus is going to reveal exactly who God truly is and what his purposes are for our lives.
On the road today: Have you created your own Jesus and get angry when he doesn’t serve your needs? Are you willing to let go of this false picture and allow Jesus to show who he really is to you?