Don’t be offended because of Me!!!
Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities. And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” Jesus answered and said to them,“Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written: Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.’…… Matthew 11:1-10
In our previous studies, We have seen how Jesus taught His Disciples about the Life and characters of the Kingdom(Matt 5-7). He has displayed the Powers available in the Kingdom(Matt 8-9). How He selected His Apostles and sent them out to preach and the instructions He gave them. In these verses, We shall see how John the Baptist doubted Jesus and How the Lord responded to it.
Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities: It is interesting to see that after Jesus sent His Disciples out, He Himself did not go home to sleep. Here we see the tirelessness of Jesus Christ. He did not say “Now that there are many Labourers in the field, Let me relax small.”The increase of Labourers in God’s work should not be an excuse for our own negligence. The more busy others are in the things of God, the more busy we ourselves should become. Jesus was not like Today’s Preachers who allocate works to people and they themselves remain idle. He never took a vacation. His Mind was upon finishing the Ministry the Father has committed to Him. All those who will fulfill the Ministry the Lord has committed to their hand have no time to waste. They don’t waste their time doing what others do Like Watching season films, joking and gisting around. There is nothing sinful in watching Films but if we are not careful, we can become slaves to it. At the end of Paul’s Life, He said ” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race(2 Timothy 4:7)” How could Paul say this despite He came to the Lord late(Probably 35 years of age)? It was because after His conversion, He spent His Life during Only the Profitable things(1 Corinthians 6:12)”. Let us therefore be More Diligent in our service, so as to fulfill the Ministry God has entrusted to us for the time is short(Colossians 4:17)!!!
And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”: It is actually amazing that John the Baptist who saw the Heaven open and the Holy Spirit descending, and a clear voice from Heaven at the Baptism of Jesus could doubt Him as the Messiah. Not only that, John the Baptist has several times pointed to Jesus saying “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the Sins of the world (John 1:29,36)” so it is quite interesting that John the Baptist of all people should have doubts concerning the Messiah. First, we must remember that John the Baptist was a Man under the Old Covenant. We cannot compare ourselves with Him because we have the Holy Spirit and many privileges that people in the old Covenant do not have. Paul, Peter and Silas never asked such questions when they were in prison. It was not because they were better than John, but because they had the Holy Spirit. This is why we must never compare ourselves with old testament Saint or believers when we see the Mistakes they made. Like David committing Adultery. Remember He was in the Old Covenant. Majority of Believers are yet to understand the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. All they know is that in the New Covenant, Jesus came and die for the sins of Man.
So why did John the Baptist doubted? The doubt came because John did not get what he expected to have gotten. And that was deliverance from prison. In the old Covenant, the Promises given to Israel was that if they Honoured God and obey Him, God will deliver them from their enemies, they would be the head and not the tail. And John was familiar with these promises. So Here he finds Himself that though He has been faithful to the very end and locked up in prison, that Jesus who He had pointed as the Messiah seems not to be interested in delivering Him. It seems to Him as if Jesus was not answering His prayers the way He expected. And that’s why the doubt came. The Lesson we can learn from this is that, we too can come into doubt if we find that our prayers are not answered in the way we expect God to answer them. Maybe God has not deliver you from that Sickness or Joblessness or lack of admission which constitutes your prison. And then you begin to wonder and unbelief comes in. Let us therefore grid our Hearts that whether the Lord answers our prayers or not, we would still trust in Him.
Jesus answered and said to them,“Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”: Jesus did not rebuke John the Baptist for doubting Him, neither did He remind Him of all that He saw during His baptism because He understands the struggles and weaknesses of those in the old Covenant. Instead, He points to His Ministry and signs. All the Miracles Jesus did was an attestation that He was the Messiah(Acts 2:22). There has been No Man who did what Jesus did. Things we heard and read about Jesus should bring a conviction in our hearts that Truly He is the Messiah. And then Jesus gave a Special message to John saying, “Blessed is he who is not offended because of Me” I perceive He was saying “John, Don’t be offended that I have not delivered You from prison, don’t be offended that I have not answered Your Prayers the way You expected. I have actually come to establish a New Covenant. And in this New Covenant, Suffering is permitted. Suffering is working an exceedingly glory for you in eternity(2 Corinthians 4:17). I know You can’t understand it now because the Holy Spirit has not been poured out, but please don’t be offended because of Me” it is possible for Christians to be offended because the Lord has not done something they desperately needed. But Today I hear Jesus saying, “Don’t be offended because of Me, I am working everything out for Good(Romans 8:28)” Let us therefore open our Hearts to the Holy Spirit so as to comfort us in moments when we want to be offended with the Lord.
As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses : Here, Jesus said some remarkable things about John to prevent the Multitude from criticizing John and saying “How could He have doubted Jesus as the Messiah!!!” If we Honour God, He will Honour Us. If we take a Stand for Him, He will also take a stand for Us. Notice that Jesus did not say these words in the Presence of John’s Disciples lest John becomes proud and puffed Up. He did not want to tempt John to unnecessarily Spiritual Pride. Let us therefore be careful when we want to appreciate someone publicly lest we tempt them to spiritual pride. So Jesus said “Have you gone into the Wilderness to see a Reed shaken by the wind?” meaning “Have You gone out to look and listen to an unsteady kind of person, Like many Preachers are?” There are many Preachers who are Like Reed shaken by the wind!! They bend in whatever direction the wind is blowing. These are Preachers who are moved by the wind of public opinion. They look at what the crowd are interested in and they seek to do the same in their church also. They see others bringing comedians to the pulpit to Crack some jokes and they also do the same to please their members. Such Preachers are not Servant of God for they seek to please Men(Galatians 1:10). God wants people who are like trees that are rooted in the ground that even a storm cannot shake. Be a Brother or sister like that!!! In the same way, He says “Do you expect to go out and see a Preacher who is dressed in the latest style, with fine suit and very expensive clothes and shoes made by they most expensive tailors and company?” Such Preachers are not fit for the Pulpit!!! The Church is not a place to show off fancy clothes and draw attention to one’s Self. If You want people to be impressed about Your dressing as a Preacher, go to the Palace!!!
But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written: “Behold , I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.”: It is amazing that Jesus referred to John the Baptist as someone More than the Prophets!!! In the old testament, Prophets were the greatest Servant of God who expresses the Mind of God. What makes John more than a Prophet then? All the Prophets prophesied about the coming of Christ, but John came to actually prepare the Way. He was the only one who had the privilege to actually preach, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand” None of the Prophets preached about the Kingdom of Heaven. They all preached, Land of Canaan!!Let us therefore Learn from Him. John the Baptist was called to prepare People for the first coming of the Messiah, but We have been called to prepare people for the Second Coming of the Messiah. If John preached “Repent!!!, then it would be foolishness to preach Prosperity!!!
Dear Friend, Don’t be offended by the dealings of the Lord. Don’t be offended that He has not delivered You from that prison of Life You found Yourself. Rejoice, I say again” Rejoice” Don’t be Like a Reed shaken by the wind of Life to impress People. Be strong in the Lord and join in the business of preparing others for the second coming of the Lord. May the Grace of God be sufficient for us in every situation.(Amen). God bless you. Have a blessed day.
#Everyday with Jesus