John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, was sent to prepare the way for the Messiah. He baptized Jesus in the Jordan River and by all appearances, knew that he was the Messiah. But after his arrest, he seems to waver a bit.
Read: Matthew 11:1-6
Now, I’m sorry Jesus. But you did not answer the question. Or did he? What did we say the mission of Jesus was? What would mark him as the Messiah? Wasn’t it the things he did? Look at what he tells John the Baptist. The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, the Good News is preached to the poor.
Isaiah 61 coming to life right in front of their eyes! What more do they need to see?
Jesus last statement is worth hearing again. He says:
God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.Matthew 11:6
Why does he say that? What does he mean? The answer might be found in Matthew 13:57 where it says, “And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him.” This is referencing the people from Jesus’ hometown. They just couldn’t get past their home town boy doing miracles and proclaiming the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven. They turned away because of him.
Is your God-box small and confining? What if things happen that don’t fit inside there? Will you be offended because God acted outside of your idea of how God should act?
There is a really excellent short book entitled, “The Prisoner in the Third Cell” written by Gene Edwards. It is well worth the 45-60 minutes it will take to read. It is an excellent treatise on what happens when God doesn’t do what we think he should.
Does Jesus offend you? What has he done or not done that makes it hard for you to embrace him and the life he offers?