Thursday, 7 February 2013

Thursday - Questioning

Prayer:  Glory be to You,  O Lord Our God.    Each day we come before You knowing that You have given us Your Love and Your Word.  May we not hide this great love and this great Word.  May we do an ever great source of comfort and love when those who need it this day.  Amen.

Read St. Luke 7:  18 – 20
John the Baptist’s disciples tell John about all the things Jesus had been accomplishing.   Yet John is uneasy.  He calls two of his disciples and sends them to Jesus to ask “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”

What a question.   John and Jesus were cousins.  John knew about Jesus.  John baptized Jesus.  Yet John is pondering Jesus’ ministry.    And why?   Foremost because the image John had of the Messiah (or Chosen One) is not who Jesus the Messiah is.  Jesus was hanging out with Tax Collectors and in discussion with the Priests and Elders.  The very people that John the Baptist has been calling horrid and brood of vipers and trying desparately to have them repent and turn to God.

We read earlier John’s understanding of who the Messiah was to be:  St Luke 3: 16 – 17
“And John answered them,  ‘I baptize you with water.  But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn,  but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.’ 

Wow,  no wonder John is questioning Jesus’ Messiah-ship.   Jesus is going about the ministry of sharing the Good News with story and teachings and examples of life.  John thought the Messiah would come with a winnowing fork and burn those who would not repent.  

Have you ever questioned a Minister’s sermon  or questioned an Elder for their life’s example?  These questions aren’t the questions of spite or hatred or attempts to humiliate,  these are questions asked of Ministers and Elders in order for us to learn more about living our life as a Christian.  Questioning is a wonderful way to build up our faith.  By questioning,  we first have to discern what we believe.   Only then can we ask questions of others.

Was John doubting Jesus as the Messiah?     Where does doubt fit into our faith?    Living Faith (The Presbyterian Church in Canada’s  Statement of Christian Belief) states:

6.2.2- 6.2.3  Questioning may be a sign of growth.  It may also be
disobedience;  we must be honest with ourselves.  Since we
are to love God with our minds, as well as our hearts, the
working through of doubt is part of our growth in faith.
The church includes many who struggle with doubt.  Jesus
accepted the man who prayed “Lord, I believe.  Help my
unbelief”.   ….. we find assurance in Christ through
confidence in His word, the sacraments of His Church and the
work of His Spirit

John’s questioning of Jesus is a sign of growth – a time of  John changing his thinking about who the Messiah is and how the Messiah comes into our lives.   

Prayer:   Lord,  we believe.  Help our unbelief.   May we find assurance in Christ this day through this study of Your Word and Your Church and the work of Your Spirit.  This we ask in Your name.  Amen.

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