In-person worship services will be held as scheduled this Sunday. Please use discretion when determining whether roads are safe for your personal travel.
If you are unable to travel, consider joining worship online HERE at 7:30, 9, 11 or 5pm, on-demand at Resurrection’s YouTube channel, or on TV at KMCI 38 at 8am or 11am.
We are watching the weather and at this time the Car Show is still on as scheduled for the public, open from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. We will keep you updated as conditions change.
2 Now when John heard in prison about the things the Christ was doing, he sent word by his disciples to Jesus, asking, 3 “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”
4 Jesus responded, “Go, report to John what you hear and see. 5 Those who were blind are able to see. Those who were crippled are walking. People with skin diseases are cleansed. Those who were deaf now hear. Those who were dead are raised up. The poor have good news proclaimed to them [Isaiah 35:5-6; 61:1].”
Even John the Baptist, Jesus’ faithful forerunner, later wondered if he’d been right to point people to Jesus. “The Gospels tell of…John the Baptist, then in prison, [asking] whether Jesus was really the expected Messiah…. Jesus was not doing what John thought the Messiah would do: bring down God’s judgement on the wicked and unrepentant.” * It seems that even John, at that point, wanted Jesus’ kingdom to require other people (but not him) to change their thinking and actions.
Lord Jesus Christ, at times I can identify with your struggling forerunner. Thank you that even when I’m filled with questions, I always find in you the merciful person who truly was “the one.” Amen.
In today’s passage, John the Baptist asks Jesus a fairly simple question: Are you the Messiah? It’s a question that can be answered with a single word: yes or no. Not to belittle the importance of the question. John had given his whole life to preparing for Jesus’ ministry, so it made sense for him to seek some reassurance after he was imprisoned for it.
It’s Jesus’ response, though, that’s the really interesting part. Rather than give his own opinion, Jesus showed how what had been said about the Messiah was true in his life. He used Scripture and history to answer the question, giving much more weight to his answer to a man who was beginning to doubt. Jesus’ word was powerful and authoritative, but what John knew was Scripture, so Jesus used that.
When people ask of us, they’re unlikely to ask if we’re a Messiah (at least, I hope people aren’t asking that about me); but people may ask if we’re Christians. They may also ask a range of related questions with the same intent: Is this person good? Are they safe? Will they support me in my lowest moments? Can I trust them not to hurt me when I’m vulnerable? People will rarely ask these questions out loud, but you can be sure people will wonder these things.
In these times, we can give our answers, but our own answers will only carry so much weight. Like Jesus, we need to have an answer not for what we think we are, but for what we’ve done. Actions speak a lot louder than words, especially in a time where some Christians have been a destructive force to some of the most vulnerable people in the world and justified it with their religion.
Instead of asserting that we’re good, or safe, or supportive, or trustworthy, we need our actions and the fruits of our actions to speak for us. We can give impassioned speeches for why we’re all of those things, but until our family, friends, and the vulnerable people in society will vouch for us, our answer doesn’t mean much. If the stories in our lives don’t answer that question, we don’t need a louder answer ourselves—we need more stories of our godliness.
* Bauckham, Richard. Jesus: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (pp. 41-42). OUP Oxford. Kindle Edition.
** N. T. Wright, Matthew for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1–15. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004, p. 127.