Pastor Marcus Brown
When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” - Matthew 11:2-6
Today, Pastor Marcus speaks to us about how John the Baptist—who was sitting in prison for doing the right thing—struggles with knowing if Jesus is who He claims to be. Here is John, in painful circumstances, facing uncertainty regarding Jesus’ Messiahship. Yet Jesus, in His response, doesn’t deal with the circumstances of John’s life; He deals directly with who He is by laying out how He is living—the lame walk, the lepers are clean, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. “Blessed is any who does not stumble on account of me.”
Maybe John is struggling with a little offense here, but Jesus doesn’t make excuses for or justify His actions to John. He just replies by laying out the fruit of His life. Like John, sometimes we can be in painful circumstances, as well. In fact, we will be in painful circumstances from time to time. Pain produces spiritual confusion, and we may end up blaming God or being offended by Him.
In moments like these, Marcus challenges us to get our eyes off our circumstances and see Jesus for who He is, choosing not to be offended by God.
Question: What was Jesus trying to communicate with John the Baptist?
Family Chat: Is there anyone in your life who has offended you or hurt your feelings? Have you forgiven them?
Take Action: Share your thoughts on the above question with your life group or accountability partners. Talk about what your next step today should be, in light of what you shared.
Prayer Starter: "Jesus, what are you trying to say to me through this today?"