John the Baptist had been waiting for the Messiah to come. He heard the calling to prepare the way for him and began preaching about his soon arrival. Then, a man named Jesus shows up. He heals the sick, makes the lame walk…even brings a child back from the dead. So what does John do? Well of course he has to be really sure, right? So he sent two of his best men…to ask Jesus if he was the Messiah. I love Jesus’ answer…
“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.”
Let this be a lesson to all of us. Actions speak louder than words, the proof is in the pudding, and a thousand other cliches provide all the wisdom that we need to find discernment. We’ve had lots of false messiahs in the history of the world. Some welcomed the moniker and some would have rather stayed hidden, but when you are looking for the Messiah, you don’t just ask him for his opinion. That would be like trying to find a good plumber by telling one of them, ‘hey I’ve got a big job with a big budget to do it, but I don’t want to hire you unless you’re one of the good plumbers.’ Wouldn’t that be insane? No, we do our consumer research and listen to the reports from the people…
“This man fixed my sink in a timely fashion at a good price. Hasn’t leaked since – he must be a good plumber.
“This man performed surgery on my knee and now I’m biking for the first time in 20 years. He obviously is a great surgeon.”
“This man told a dead child to get up a walk this morning and the child is now playing in the town square. He is the Messiah.”
Actions speak louder than words and John got an earful. Where then was his faith? We all can lose our way sometimes. Even if it’s only momentary and suddenly we’re in the middle of doing the great thing that God has called us to do and we forget how we got there. For me this speaks to me in a very real way. The next time I’m looking for direction, while it’s okay to ask Jesus where he wants me to go, I think it would be a good idea to ask him to remind me how I got here and to bring me back to his original vision for my life instead of always searching for a new one.