God of heaven, Lord of earth, I bow before You. You are my God and I trust in You.
Read LUKE 7:24-35
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
As is sometimes said, “Jesus came to disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed.”
It’s all right to express doubts, to question. Jesus could have rebuked John for his questions as someone who ought to have known better. Instead, he helped him see the bigger picture (22-23) and then went on to honor him publicly by telling the surrounding crowd that there was no one greater than him (28)! If Jesus was a different sort of king, then John was a different sort of prophet. He was a true prophet, a forerunner of the Messiah (Mal. 3:1). Too gloomy for some, he none-the-less profoundly impacted the lives of those with whom he came into contact. Ordinary people, even tax collectors, had repented and been baptized by him (29). The Pharisees, however, had resoundingly rejected his strong emphasis upon sin (30), criticizing his frugal lifestyle and calling him demonic (33).
However, they complained that Jesus was too much of a party person who befriended the wrong sort of people (34). He wasn’t respectable enough for them. The contrast is marked between Jesus’ response to those like John who asked heartfelt questions and those who tried to sidetrack him with questions so that they didn’t have to take him too seriously. He frequently had strong words for the latter (Mark 7:6-8; Luke 11:37-54).
The Kingdom of God Jesus described and came to inaugurate is uniquely unsettling yet simultaneously deeply comforting, hugely challenging yet very attractive. There is room in that kingdom for those who recognize their need, who want to believe and yet struggle with doubts and questions (Mark 9:21-37). Church leaders are not immune from these struggles but may have no place where they feel safe enough to admit it. If that’s you, be assured that God knows, understands and cares.
How do we respond to fellow Christians in this position? What can you do to ensure there is sufficient room and acceptance for them to grapple with uncertainties?
Lord, I know that with You, truth matters. Purify any doubts that have crept into my life and give me compassion for other doubters.
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