Matthew 11 opens up with an interesting dialogue between the disciples of John the Baptist and Jesus. John, who is in prison, sends a couple of his disciples to ask Jesus the question, "Are you the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?" This seems like a strange question coming from John the Baptist, doesn't it? Here was a man - a prophet, in fact - who, when he saw Jesus in John 1, was shouting to the crowds, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!"
Even more astounding than that, however, is Jesus' response to John's disciples. As He always is with His children, Jesus' response is so gentle, so loving, and so reassuring. His simple response is "Just go tell John what you hear and what you see." What had they seen and heard? According to the words of Christ, it was the blind receiving sight, the lame walking, the lepers cleansed, the deaf hearing, the dead being raised, and the poor having the Gospel preached to them. Take note of something very important in Jesus response: He does not tell them that these are things that are happening, rather, He says, "Just tell John what YOU hear and see."
It raises an interesting question for me: What have I heard and seen from Jesus in my own life lately? If Jesus issued this same challenge to me, what would my response be? What am I hearing from Jesus and what am I witnessing Him do in my life and the lives of those around me? The words of Christ here present a serious challenge to the casual Christian, the Christian who does not commune regularly with the Lord. It is very much akin to a relationship with a spouse: unless I am actually talking and listening to my spouse I certainly won't have any idea what is actually going on in their life; everything I know of them will be what I learned some time in the past. We shouldn't expect our relationship with the Lord to be any different.
What are YOU hearing from Jesus? What are YOU seeing from Christ? Hebrews 2:1 tells us that "we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it." What an incredible warning! If we are not paying attention to what the Lord is doing, then we have reason to believe that we will actually drift away from what God is saying to us. If you are having a difficult time coming up with something that the Lord has done lately in your life, revisit how much time you spend with Him. The best response that we can give to those who are curious about Jesus is the same response that Christ Himself gives here when He is approached. "Well, let me tell you about what I've seen and heard Jesus doing lately..."
Each week this blog will be updated with a word for the week from my current studies.