Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How much are people worth?

Luke 7:20-22: “When the men had come to Him, they said, ‘John the Baptist has sent us to You’, saying, 'Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?' 21 And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight. 22 Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.’”

John was in a bad place. His ministry was given over to another whom He “prepared the way for”. John focused all his life to prepare the nation of Israel for the coming of the Messiah. He devoted his life to this one mission. When Jesus arrived on the scene and began His ministry, it was extremely clear to John that this was the one whom he proclaimed. John even told his disciples to now follow Jesus, because he must decrease and Jesus must increase.

Nevertheless, John now was in prison awaiting his execution and time was slipping by. He had to know for sure if this was truly the one he preached about. John had a moment of doubt; he was in a bad place and he needed to know for sure if Jesus is the one everybody says He was. John sent some of his disciples back to Jesus to make sure that He was genuine. When Jesus spoke to John’s disciples and was asked if He was the one the Messiah, Jesus was not offended. He knew John was just a man and a long way from the home he had in the desert. John was imprisoned and awaiting the last day on this earth. Jesus cared for John and wanted to reassure him that his sacrifice was not in vain. Jesus told John’s disciples to go back and tell him all the miracles that they had witnessed and to use them to comfort and encourage John.

We all go through times of doubt and discouragement. John needed something to hold on to. He did not get to witness the miracles, but he heard all that Jesus had done. John needed encouragement from his closest friends. Jesus told them to go back and minister to him during this time. During John’s period of discouragement, Jesus provided help and comfort from John’s closest companions. We are also called to be a source of comfort and encouragement to those around us. Sometimes we can start to doubt when things start getting bad. However, it is during these times when we are called to come beside our friends to encourage and strengthen them.

We are called to be encouragers during the storms of people’s lives. People come seeking Jesus in our lives, whether they know it or not. We are to offer hope and encouragement in dark times. We are also to help one another get through the times of doubt when they arise. Make sure you are encouraging someone, so that when you travel through that valley there will be someone there to encourage you.

Tomorrows Readings:
Old Testament: Judges 3-5 New Testament Luke 7:31-50

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