John’s Question:Overcoming Offense With God!

johnsquestionLuke 7:18The disciples of John reported to him about all these things. 19Summoning two of his disciples, John sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?” 20When the men came to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, to ask, ‘Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?'” 21At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind. 22And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them. 23 Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”

Why did John the Baptist ask: “Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?”  He knew Jesus from the womb. When John encountered Jesus at the river the day of Christ’s baptism, knew by the Spirit who He was. He heard the Father’s words and saw the Holy Spirit descend like a dove. So why this sudden crisis of faith? The answer to this question can be discovered in Jesus’ response. He tells John the signs that confirm Messiah I have done them all. The last sentence is the one that may give insight into the state of John the Baptist. Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”

Like all of the Jews, even the disciples, expected the Messiah to liberate Israel from Roman oppression. Surely the Messiah would free John. Yet here he was in prison. He stood up for righteousness, and yet it was beginning to look like John wouldn’t be free. Rumour and speculation had it that Herod’s wife was calling for his death. Jesus said blessed is he who is not offended because, yes John, “I am He.” John now had to say, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.” John prophesied rightly, “He must increase, while I must decrease!”

To have an unoffendable heart! How do I hold my heart when the LORD’s leading takes me down an unexpected path! How many times have you and I been offended for unanswered or delayed answers in prayer? So often I struggle to exchange my ways for His ways. The way of the Christ-Follower requires trust! Oh for the unoffendable heart! We have to know Him. Truly know His character and ways! It only comes from time in the secret place. This kind of knowing doesn’t suddenly fall upon the believer in the day of the hardship. It is developed day by day in the Secret Place. When you neglect time in prayer, He’s not disappointed in you, He’s disappointed for you. The phrase “Will you not Tarry one hour?” isn’t a lecture, but rather an invitation! – By Chris Ferguson


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