“Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” Matthew 11:3.
When my grandson Carson was four years old, my daughter asked him after Sunday School one morning what he had learned. His response is something I will never forget and is one for which I hope I live my life. He looked at her and exclaimed, ‘Mommy, it is ALWAYS going to be about Jesus!” Carson’s explanation about the Church reminds me of the life of John the Baptist. He was the forerunner for Jesus with his sole purpose in life being to spread the message of the coming Messiah. From sunrise to sunset his proclamations were drenched of hope in a future Savior…every word always about Jesus! Then one day the darkness overtook John’s life as he was imprisoned by Herod and thrown into the dark despair of a cold and damp prison. His message continued I am sure of a Savior who would rescue, would bring justice to light and deliver him from his present suffering. His message began loud and confident but over the weeks or months there was less confidence in his voice. The passion and zeal that had filled his days were replaced with doubts, discouragement and second guessing. Prolonged suffering had clouded the truth of his heart. ‘Where is the Savior? When will he come? Has he forgotten me? Was that even Him?’ He even sent this heart wrenching message through others which haunts my heart for him…for you…for me. ‘…or should we expect someone else?’ He began to doubt the very person of Jesus.
How often we are forerunners of the message of hope, faith and God’s rescuing love. From sunrise to sunset the words on our lips testify to our intellectual faith until we are thrown into dark circumstances…the phone call, the diagnosis, or the injustices. We cry out to God to intervene, to heal, or to move the mountain that is too big to climb. Our prayers are laced with hope and deliverance in a Savior, but as time goes on our bleeding hearts wonder the same question, ‘Are You my Savior or shall I turn to something else?’ Jesus responded to John’s question with a statement, ‘Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me’ (Matthew 11:6). Instead of keys to the earthly release, John got keys to the kingdom of the Savior. He had not invested in the wrong Savior - he was just mistaken about the wrong kingdom. John believed that Jesus would set His kingdom on earth which will happen at the end of time. But we know through Scripture that we belong to the heavenly kingdom with Christ. ‘Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling…and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.’ 2 Co. 5:1-6.
No matter what heart wrenching circumstances which you find yourself in this morning, you can have complete confidence that the God you worship is the Savior who will deliver. He is who you think He is and nothing will separate you from His love. He will rescue each of us from our prisons and will bless us for our seasons of suffering just as He did John. ‘I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he’ Luke 7:28.