Words of Faith 5-15-18
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind.  So he replied to the messengers, "Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.  Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."
John's disciples had come to Jesus and posed a very serious and pointed question. Are you the one or should we expect someone else? All the signs were there that Jesus was Messiah but John was still in prison. What about setting the prisoner free? What about that one?
The answer Jesus gave to the disciples of John is perplexing because he didn't answer John's situation and the big questions. But He did answer the most basic question: "Is God at work here... Are you the one, or is there another?"
The answer Jesus gave was to ask them to look around. Luke reports that "... at that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind." Right before them, the disciples of John the Baptist could see blind folks that now can see. Their eyesight was so good they probably need sunglasses! There were lame folks who could walk so well that they now led dancing at the wedding parties. There were lepers coming to church with their families. There were deaf folks who probably had to sit in the back because their hearing was so sensitive. Best of all there was a dead man who came to church every week with his mom. People who attended his funeral greeted him each week. Good news was being preached.
But there was one thing that was missing. No freedom for the captive, at least not the physical prisoners. None of the political prisoners of Rome, like John the B., had been set free. That is tough.
So what was the bottom line? Apparently you can't judge the work of God on the bases of what you think He has left undone. You must judge on the miracles you do see. That is something we are sometimes afraid of. We are almost afraid to give testimony to the goodness of God because we know of the situations where we are not so sure.
There is always a temptation to look at what is left undone. This is more than a "glass half full" philosophy. We cannot judge God on the basis of what we think He should have done. We cannot judge Jesus based on what we believe the priorities should have been.
There is a temptation to ignore all the healing and transformation that Jesus has done and then point with accusation at the person left in pain or the situation left unchanged. When we do so, we ignore the fact that Jesus announced the Kingdom of God that is at hand or near, not that the Kingdom of God was fully in place. The Kingdom of God was breaking in. The Kingdom was on the way. We cannot judge the work of God by what we don't see completed.
There actually is a blessing for those who do not fall away because of a "false evaluation" or false accounting of who Jesus is. Jesus would one day say that it is a wicked and perverse generation that "demands a sign," and that blessed are those who have not seen a miracle and yet believe. The Kingdom is ultimately about the rule of God in the hearts of men, not how many miracles were racked up in a day.
Essentially, Jesus said to the disciples of John the Baptizer who came inquiring, "Hang in there. Persevere. Don't hang your faith on miracles or healings or what you think God is supposed to do for you." That is certainly a good message for us.
Father God, make Your Spirit manifest in me. Give me patience when I don't see the Kingdom as quickly as I would like. Give me grace to wait upon You and to find my strength renewed. Help me to see You at work around me and to trust You for the things left undone. In Jesus' name.