How’s it going so far? Mine is starting off on kind of a bummer. I’ve had what we locally call the Sand Mountain Creeping Crud. This malady attacks every single person around here at least once a year.I’m feeling better, so maybe it will just go away in a couple more days. The wonderful cough will stay for a while, because, as we all know on Sand Mountain, the cough is the last thing to go.
Today I know that things are getting better and that I have the ability to function on a higher level. Instead of just staring at the TV and thinking I’ll never get better, I’m taking interest in what I’m watching, which is why I turned the TV off. Progress!It’s easy for almost anyone to relate to feeling so sick that you know you’ve got to get better just to die. It’s a low spot to be in. Nothing seems to be right, but the energy is just not there to change anything.
I’ve been studying John the Baptist, and I read about him being imprisoned by Herod. The king had sort of a love/hate relationship going on with John. He respected him and knew he was a righteous man, but John had told Herod that it was wrong for him to have his brother’s wife. So Herod had him thrown in jail for speaking against him.This was a low point in John’s life. He was probably imprisoned under ground with either nothing to do or mind-numbing busy work for hours a day. For an active, intelligent man, this had to be very hard. Mostly likely, depression followed.
We can see his mental state when he sends two of his disciples to ask Jesus if He is the One they were looking for, or should they look for another.Think of it: John had preached to thousands of repentance and the Savior Who was coming. He baptized thousands in the Jordan River, pointing them always to their Messiah. He baptized Jesus Himself and saw a dove, representing the Holy Spirit, descend from Heaven to Jesus. And he heard God’s voice saying that this was His Son, in whom He was well pleased.
But in that dank, dark prison, John had a time of doubting – doubting himself and doubting God. Was it possible that John had somehow misread all those signs of the Savior’s coming? Were the passions that he felt to baptize and preach really coming from God?So he sent two of his disciples to ask straight out -- Are you or are you not our Messiah?
It’s interesting that Jesus didn’t get mad about it. He just suggested that the disciples tell John “…what you have seen and heard; how the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the Gospel is preached to the poor. And blessed are all who won’t be offended in me.” Luke 7:23 (CEV)Jesus gives John something no one else could – assurance that Jesus is
Who He says He is.
I can’t think of a better message for us as we start a new year.