September 3, Saturday

REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought is an updated version of AMI QT Devotional first posted on August 25, 2013.

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Who Is Jesus to Me?”

Luke 7:18-35

The disciples of John reported all these things to him. And John, 19 calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 20 And when the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?’” 21 In that hour he healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind he bestowed sight. 22 And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. 23 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” 24 When John’s messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 25 What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who are dressed in splendid clothing and live in luxury are in kings’ courts. 26 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27 This is he of whom it is written,. “‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you. 28 I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” 29 (When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just,[c] having been baptized with the baptism of John, 30 but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.) 31 “To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another,  “‘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, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35 Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.”

As great as John the Baptist was (of whom Jesus once said in Luke 7:28, “Among those born of woman there is no one greater than John”), here we see him doubting or questioning or being confused about the identity of Jesus Christ based on his own expectation and situation (vv. 18-20). For John, if Jesus were to be the Christ, then why was there still injustice in his days and he put in prison?  In response to such enigma, Jesus said, “Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me” (v. 23).  Jesus is the very cornerstone on which we need to build our lives according to Him.  But for some, Jesus actually is a stumbling block to their success in life (1 Pet 2:8).  Is Jesus a precious cornerstone or stumbling block?  Have I gotten Jesus wrong because He does not meet my expectation? 

What do I really want God to do in my life?  Is it about seeing people being healed, disarming the kingdom of darkness, and the gospel message being heard all over the world (vv. 21-22)?  Or am I waiting for God to meet my own needs and expectations?  John was a prophet, and also “more than a prophet” (v. 26). John was more than a prophet in a sense that he was the last and greatest prophet under the Old Covenant. Unlike the other prophets who witnessed from a far distance (time-wise), John had the privilege to witness and testify God’s Son in humanity (John 1:19ff.).  Yet even John the greatest prophet was least in God’s kingdom under the New Covenant (v. 28) since the measure of greatness in the prophetic ministry lies in clarity and conviction of the prophetic message mainly Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, John was beheaded in injustice before he experienced Christ’s death and resurrection and glorification.  

For us living under the New Covenant, God’s redemptive work through His Son Jesus Christ is no longer what God would someday accomplish; it is a historical fact.  How much am I excited about the gospel ministry?  Is the eagerness there to witness Jesus Christ?  What would it take for me to proclaim the gospel to others than remain silent?

Prayer: Lord, forgive me for treating you like my personal Jeannie. You are always my Lord and Savior. I shall always worship and obey you, and serve your kingdom interest here on earth. Amen.   

Bible Reading for Today: 2 Kings 7-8

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