‘Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers* are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. (Luke 7:22)
John the Baptist drives our encounter this week. He has sent his disciples to Jesus to ask a question, “Are you the one…or should we wait for another?”
John has invested his whole life in Jesus. He has preached that the Messiah was coming and his mission was simple: make sure nobody misses it. Now, near the end of his work and life, John seems to be having those nagging doubts that we all have from time to time. What if I invested my life in the wrong thing? What if this is the life I had and I wasted it? So he wants to know (for sure) that Jesus is the one and that he has lived a life worth living.
Jesus doesn’t ever tell him. The response above is simple. You have seen what I have done. You know the expectations of what the Messiah could and would do when he came. Go tell him what you saw and what you heard. John will have to make up his own mind based on that.
Jesus knows that he has taught clearly and acted boldly. Anyone who has been watching and listening will know that there is something special about him. His words and deeds match and that will ground how John responds.
This is a good witness to all of us. If we simply speak, even if what we say is true, but don’t ground our words in actions that match, then our witness will bear little fruit.
Perhaps one reason that the church has lost ground in or world is that people in the church are a bit too “normal.” Our message is incredible but the boldness of our actions sometimes doesn’t look too different from those things being done my people who aren’t part of the church at all. We live in times when there is much that God calls for us to do boldly. Opportunities are all around us. The more courageous we are, as we live our lives, the more seriously people will take our message as well.