When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 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. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
John had followed God closely. He lived a life sold out – driven – preparing the way for God to reveal a way back to the arms of God. He knew his purpose and he gave himself to it wholeheartedly. And not only that John heard clearly from God who to look for:
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.” (John 1: 21-34)
Life met its purpose, served on-a-silver-platter with proof streaming from heaven straight from the hand of God. Really, can it get any better?
And then came prison.
And then came the day to day wearing down.
And then came that dastardly devil-driven doubt.
“Are you the One, Jesus? This prison is dark. And I’m left only with my thoughts. And oh how I long for just the beauty of the sky. Are you the One, Jesus? It’s dark and I long just to see….Did my life matter, did I pick the right path… did I hear right? Are you the One?
And Jesus answers him, “Go. Report. Tell him what you HEAR and SEE.”
Jesus answers with proof that will go straight to John’s heart and give him peace. Peace in the midst of the darkened prison. Peace that will arm his beloved cousin, his childhood friend with strength for the fiery trial that lies ahead.
John wasn’t rescued from the fate of his prison’s sentence… A bad thing happened to a good man. And some took offense and stumbled at that… ” Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”(
John wasn’t rescued in flesh, but Jesus didn’t promise earthly rescue. He promised that “In this world you will have tribulation (suffering, trouble, affliction), but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
John cried out in his dark place… “Are you the One?” and Jesus rescued him with the Truth.
Hear. See. I have overcome the world, John. And we will overcome this dark place together.
What better place to bring doubt, but to Jesus.
Jesus, you have overcome every dark place with your light. Every one. The sunshine of heaven is going to be unbelievably magnificent!