John’s doubt, our challenge

The forerunner for the Messiah was in prison, punished for presuming to speak truth to power. Though John had pointed others to Jesus, he still had followers. These disciples reported to John all that Jesus had been doing (Luke 7:18), most notably raising a widow’s only son from the dead (Luke 7:11-17).

When John hears of these wondrous miracles, he is dismayed. He sends two disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (Luke 7:19). Perhaps John is discouraged because Jesus is doing these wonderful things and John is confined. Perhaps John was anticipating the Messiah’s work to be quickly accomplished.

Remember, this is the one who announced with such conviction, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29). It is he who received confirmation from the Father that Jesus is “the Son of God” (John 1:34). John is no stranger to the nature of the one called Jesus. But prison and possible death likely has a way of causing a person to need reassurance. Continue reading “John’s doubt, our challenge”

True greatness

Why is it that people always want to be the greatest? I realize that we should always strive to do our best, but that is not what I am referring to. We want to be better than everyone else in whatever we are doing. Even when equality is emphasized it really isn’t equality that we are after – most people seem to want special privileges and at least to feel they are better than others.

The former communist nations are a good example of this. What started out as a push for everyone to be equal very quickly turned into equality for the masses but privileges for the elite. The modern state of Israel was built on the kibbutz. These were plentiful in the early days of the new state where all lived in a collective community, with each contributing what they earned so that all had an equal share. As more people began earning greater wages they left the kibbutz in order to live on their own and keep the benefits of their own labour. Continue reading “True greatness”