What would it take to convince you that Jesus is alive, that He is concerned about you and that He is fulfilling His promises? In Matthew 11 we see that John the Baptist is in prison. Prior to this he had boldly declared that there was coming someone who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. He baptized Jesus and heard a voice from heaven saying that this was God’s beloved Son in Whom He was well pleased, he saw the Spirit of God alighting upon Jesus, Matt. 3:13-17.
There would have been some excitement and anticipation that Jesus was going to help change the situations of life. However, when in prison John the Baptist is having second thoughts. Life was not “playing out” as he had anticipated that it would, Jesus had not produced the desired changes, and life had actually gotten harder for John the Baptist since Jesus came around. John was about to be beheaded. A question is sent to Jesus, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
Many times we too can get discouraged because it does not seem as though we are obtaining the results that we thought we should be getting as a follower of Christ. We might think that, “As a believer in Jesus, life should be getting easier, there should be less problems and difficulties, and there should be blessings in every area of my life.” Then when these expectations are not fulfilled we may question God with the, “How come?”, “Where were You?”, and “Why?” questions. This was how John the Baptist was feeling.
Jesus sends a message back to John saying, “The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the poor have the gospel is preached to them”, (vs. 5). These statements were all true but they did not address the area of need that John had, John was in prison and was about to die. This was what John was concerned about. Jesus then says, “Blessed is he who is not offended because of me.” (vs. 6) Jesus is challenging John with the thought that, ” Yes, there are times when life doesn’t seem to line up with what we think that it should, but don’t be offended.” The blessing comes by realizing that God is still working even though He might not seem to be working in our life or in our area of need.
The above comments from Jesus seemed sufficient to remove the doubts from the heart and mind of John the Baptist.
Could you be content to see God work in the hearts and lives of others even when the things that you would want and desire for yourself do not seem to come to pass? Would you be offended because Jesus doesn’t seem to be there for you, when your “prison” situation or your situation of “death” is not removed? Or, could you rejoice because you see the hand of God at work, and could you rest knowing that if God is working in the situation of others, then He is also working in your situation, even when you don’t seem to see anything happening?