THOUGHTS FROM MATTHEW

March 21

Text: Matthew 11:2-6

Now when John in prison heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples, and said to Him, "Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?" And Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and report to John what you hear and see: the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM.  And blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me." (NASB)

Confronting evil can be a dangerous decision.  Matthew 14:1-12 recorded Johnís confrontation with Herod Antipas (the tetrarch) which resulted in Johnís imprisonment and death.  John had been an unconventional free-spirited man who spent much of his time in the wilderness.  Imprisonment demanded that he make a major adjustment in lifestyle and thought.  The result was wondering if he fulfilled his God-given mission.

For peace of mind, he sent some disciples to ask Jesus if he was the Christ John was to introduce to Israel.  Jesus answered by directing Johnís disciplesí attention to Jesusí deeds and Isaiah 35:5 following.

If you are committed to following Jesusí teachings, your life will encounter twists and turns that you never expected.  In those moments, you will think thoughts and consider perspectives that are entirely new.  If John encountered such moments, you should not be surprised by such experiences!

When John encountered that moment, Jesus resolved his crises by verifying that he was the Christ.  Know Godís purposes in the Christ.  If Jesus suffered in becoming our Christ, it is not unjust for us to suffer if we dare to follow him as the Christ.

The more we know about the Christ the more readily Jesus can address our dilemmas.  No knowledge is more important than knowledge concerning Jesus Christ!

Suggestion for reflection: Is your religious knowledge focused on Jesus Christ?  (Read Acts 5:27-32.)

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