John the Baptist was surely a righteous servant of God. In fact, Yeshua said “I say to you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John…”. (Luke 7:28) Yeshua was not offended when John sent disciples to ask if He were the “Expected One”. He simply answered that they should look at the evidence and report back to John. Yeshua then makes an insightful comment in verse 23, “Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”
Truly there are many who are lost because they take offense at Yeshua, even all the while dismissing the incredible miracles and evidence that prove He is Messiah. They seem to get so focused on what they are expecting or their own world view that they have essentially decided in advance that there is no God or that Yeshua was not Messiah. They are offended that He claims to be God and miss the evidence THAT HE ACTUALLY IS GOD. They look for evidence to support what they believe and ignore the mountain of evidence that could lead them to Him.
18The disciples of John reported to him about all these things. 19Summoning two of his disciples, John sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?” 20When the men came to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, to ask, ‘Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?’” 21At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind. 22And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM. 23“Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”
24When the messengers of John had left, He began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 25“But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who are splendidly clothed and live in luxury are found in royal palaces! 26“But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and one who is more than a prophet.
27“This is the one about whom it is written,
‘BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU,
WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY BEFORE YOU.’
28“I say to you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” 29When all the people and the tax collectors heard this, they acknowledged God’s justice, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John.
31“To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like? 32“They are like children who sit in the market place and call to one another, and they say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’ 33“For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon!’ 34“The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35“Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”
36Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, 38and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. 39Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.”
Let us challenge ourselves to be more like John the Baptist rather than the Pharisees. Both acknowledged that God was Lord, but one truly believed and expected Messiah to come. John looked for Messiah and validated by considering evidence. He expected God to be at work around us. The Pharisees said they expected Messiah, but could never bring themselves to consider Messiah might be there with them. They appeared not to expect God actually working among them.
Let us not dismiss the possibility that God is at work around us, but rather look for Him. Seek to genuinely and with discernment understand when, where and how our Lord is at work around us. When He does reach out to us personally, carefully seek validation in evidence and scripture. Do not automatically dismiss it as coincidence or chance or imagination. Test everything but let the evidence lead you to accept when, where and how God is at work.
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