John the Baptist was prophesied to be a forerunner of Jesus Christ. Though John’s life was anointed of God, while in prison, fears and doubts began to gnaw at his mind. John might have wondered if he wasted his time preaching about the wrong man. Maybe he thought Jesus was not doing all a Messiah should do. He might have wondered if there was to be another savior yet to come. Regardless, in desperation John sent his disciples to ask whether or not Jesus was the true Messiah. Jesus did not rebuke John’s inquiry or his doubt, but instead He told John’s disciples: “Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me” (Luke 7:22-23).
Notice that Jesus’ care for the broken and crushed of this world are the evidences He used to prove He is mankind’s savior. Jesus told John’s disciples to go back and tell John that He not only notices mankind’s needs, but He also takes action that brings them change. Jesus then did something to embolden John, He told those men to tell John that there is a blessing that comes with not being offended by any tests or trials. In context, Jesus was saying that there is a blessing awaiting those who won’t allow anything to turn them away from trusting Jesus.
Jesus knows what it is like to be broken and crushed. He felt both rejection and the stinging comments that men and women can make against those whose faith is tested and tried (see Isaiah 53:3-5). Yet during Jesus’ times of brokenness and crushing, He was an example of how believers should maintain their faith in God. Jesus ministers to our weaknesses and our brokenness with a sympathy birthed from experiences He had that were not unlike our own (see Hebrews 4:15). Therefore, we can trust Jesus because He has not only “been there and done that,” but He also has the ripped and bloodied tee shirt to prove it!
Often a fruit tree will produce sweeter fruit after suffering violence. Farmers know this and will sometimes beat a tree’s trunk with a baseball bat or scar it with a chainsaw so they can reap a better harvest the next year. Christians are like that as well—they often produce sweeter fruit of the Spirit after suffering a time of physical or spiritual distress. In God’s kingdom, such tests and trials are used to strengthen a believer’s faith. So, if you find yourself in a time of physical, emotional, financial, or religious distress, don’t allow any offenses to deprive you of the blessings that await those who unconditionally trust Jesus.
Copyright © 2016 TK Burk. All Rights Reserved.