Disappointment with God

Disappointment with God

Words of Faith 5-14-18

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Luke 7

    John's disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, [19] he sent them to the Lord to ask, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"

    [20] When the men came to Jesus, they said, "John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, 'Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?' "

 

       Jesus had swept through Galilee with a powerful ministry of healing, power over demons, cleansing of lepers, preaching with anointed power and authority, and even raising of the dead.  Jesus as now in a very small circle of super prophets: Moses, Elijah and Jesus. 

       There was great expectation that Elijah would appear to announce the arrival of Messiah and announce the dawn of the Messianic age. Much of this powerful ministry was reminiscent of Elijah, but we hear a voice of doubt registered from a most unusual place.

      John the Baptizer sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus directly, if indeed, He was the Messiah.  What an unusual request.  This seemed strange.  After all, John was a cousin to Jesus. John had baptized Jesus   John had even witnessed something of the confirmation of God upon the ministry of Jesus. John had declared that Jesus was the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world.  Flesh had not revealed such knowledge.  So why would John, of all people, question whether Jesus was Messiah?

      Perhaps John simply wanted the disciples to hear it from the mouth of the Lord.  It would be a way for them to move their allegiance from John to Jesus if they could confirm for themselves the answer, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"  But there may have been something much deeper to this question.   

      To understand we must remember where John was when he sent his disciples.  He was in prison.   Think about that.  And what was the Messianic expectation and commission?   Jesus had quoted Isaiah 61:1,

    "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, [19] to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."   (Luke 4:18-19)

       This is the Scripture that Jesus claimed as His self definition, to preach Good News and to proclaim freedom for the prisoners to release the oppressed?  Now think about it.  Was John free?  No.  It does not strike me as even being particularly selfish for John the Baptizer to struggle with this apparent paradox.  John had announced the coming of Messiah.  The Messiah had said, "I am here to set prisoners free".  John is a prisoner.  Hmmm. What should he expect?  Certainly John was the most well known "prisoner for God" around.  We can see where doubts might enter in.  Perhaps Jesus is not who we thought he was...

      I believe that John was facing one of the biggest questions we ever face in all of our Christian life.  Disappointment in God.  I am talking about the disappointment when God does not do what we thought He was supposed to do, or what we were convinced He WOULD do.  John's question is quite legitimate.  You are anointed to preach good news to the poor and set prisoners free.  Well "Hello!"  I'm over here rotting in jail.  Are you really who you say you are?

       It is the same question we face in a hundred different circumstances.  Jesus, You are supposed to be able to heal. We know that You desire wholeness.  We know that You have healed others.  We believe in healing, so why haven't you?  Why didn't you?  When will you?

       We know that you do miracles... but how about MY miracle?  Because, you see, when you have cancer it doesn't matter what the statistics are or how many others are healed. The only statistic that matters is you.  When you hear about how God heals marriages and families, it doesn't matter how many success stories you read or share the only one that matters is you. 

       We find ourselves asking a larger question:  Is God at work here at all?  That is the fundamental question that John the Baptist is asking.  Are you for real?  Are you the one?  Or is there another?

       In the next verses, we will consider the answer Jesus gave, so stay tuned.  For now, it is important to realize that such questions are not new.  Such feelings are not unique.  Even John the Baptist, the one who saw and the dove and heard a voice from heaven declare the identity of Jesus, had these sorts of questions.  He did not abandon faith.  He went to the Lord with His questions.

       The journey of faith is not one of easy answers.  There are even some questions that we will not understand until we get to heaven and we are with the Lord.  If you have been asking some of these tough questions, don't give up.  Real faith is not having all the questions answered right now.  Real faith is not getting what you want when you want it.  Real faith is knowing for sure that God is walking with you even through the most difficult of times.

 

       Father God, I want real faith.  Give me the faith that can trust You no matter what.  Give me the faith that You are with me no matter what.  Give me the reassurance that You are with me even in times that are disappointing.  In Jesus' name.