Monday, November 2, 2015

Defensive or Defended?

By Allen White

After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 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. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” Matthew 11:1-6

John asks an interesting question: “Are you the one or is it somebody else?” Did he forget his proclamation the first time he saw Jesus? He exclaimed, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). Maybe prison was messing with Him.

Notice Jesus’ response. He doesn’t answer John’s question with theological statements or apologetic proofs. There is no philosophical debate. There is no demand to respect His authority. Jesus told the messenger, “The proof is in the pudding.”

Eyes are seeing. Legs are walking. The marginalized are mainstream. Ears are hearing. Dead people are living again. Good news is being proclaimed. Any other questions?

How do we respond when someone questions us? Many of us get defensive. We might even get offended that the question was even asked. “No one works harder in this place than I do. I don’t deserve to be treated like this. Don’t they know all of the good work I’ve been doing. If they can’t respect me enough to honor my efforts, maybe they don’t deserve me.” Fortunately, the Messiah was more secure than many of us.

Understand that their question to Jesus wasn’t any random question from any random person. John was paying the price for proclaiming the Messiah. Very soon, John would pay the ultimate price for his faith (Matthew 14:1-12). He just needed assurance that all wasn’t for naught.

But, why didn’t Jesus just say, “Yes, I am the One” or something like that. John already had that answer more or less. John needed reassurance while he was sitting in prison for God. That reassurance came through the visible proofs of Jesus’ work.

What is the evidence of your good work? What difference have you made in the world? Big or small, your contribution is significant. When someone questions your contribution, rather than getting defensive point to the good things you have done. If you don’t feel there’s adequate evidence, then it’s time to get with it.

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