John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, ‘Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?” And 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…
Luke 7:20, 22
As Jesus learned, even our staunchest supporters can begin to doubt under stress and confinement. Everyone has their limits. In these Scripture verses, we see that John, who was Jesus’ original champion, was now imprisoned by vengeful political power. He was living under daily duress and probably desperate for a liberator, not just for himself but for his countrymen. After all, wasn’t the Messiah, the Expected One, supposed to solve the nation’s problems and, by extension, John’s own? Don’t the bad guys get eliminated and the good guys get empowered?
We do not know to this day whether John actually doubted Jesus’ as the Savior or was trying to prompt him to lead a preemptive political/military insurrection. A solid argument could be made for John holding either of those positions. What we do know is that the answer Jesus gave is probably not the one John expected. Jesus said, in essence, “Look at the facts of what is being done.” He did not try to defend himself. He did not claim to answer all the problems or even a majority of them. He just reminded John and the messengers what he was doing.
Of course, Jesus response was perfect; if some reversal of disease and death and inequality was not a good enough answer, then John was looking for the total solution that comes only in heaven. Jesus, by simply highlighting the amazing work being done, answered John’s question in a way that a simple “yes” or “no” could not do. Highlighting the improvements that being made is a often the most effective response to questions, no matter who is asking.
Lord, remind me that even the Savior didn’t do everything expected, and help me just to be faithful every day, to do whatever I can towards the solution. Don’t let the voices that surround me drown out Yours.