Friday, September 25, 2009

LITN VII, Verses 18 - 35

18. Being aware of all that was happening with Jesus, John's disciples went to visit him in prison to tell him everything that they had heard about it. After listening to their reports, he called aside two of them,

19. and sent them to Jesus to ask, "Are you really the One who was to come...the One we've been expecting...or should we face the reality that we need to expect someone else?"

20. When the men came to Jesus, they said, "John the Baptist sent us to You to ask this...are You really the One who was to come…the One the prophets talked about…the One we’ve been expecting…the Christ? Or should we part with our illusions concerning You, and start to look for someone else who fits that description?"

21. Ironically, they were asking this while Jesus was in the middle of conducting a meeting...a meeting in which He was curing many who had diseases, releasing those who were under the control of rebel spirits, and giving sight to many who were blind.

22. So Jesus temporarily stopped ministering to the sick, and replied to the messengers, "Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind are receiving their sight, the lame are walking, those who have leprosy are being cleansed, the deaf are hearing, even the dead are being raised, and the good news is being proclaimed to the disenfranchised and the destitute.

23. And blessed is anyone who accepts this as My validation, without offense because of their perception of Me, and does not even think of asking such a question."

24. After John's messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John, before anyone could form a negative opinion because of this exchange of words...before anyone could bring an accusation against John due to his obvious doubt and insolence. He said to them, "Just what did you think you were going to see out there in the wilderness? A little, non-confrontational weakling who doesn’t speak his mind…a reed swayed by the wind?

25. If not, then what did you go out to see? A man dressed in expensive clothes…a sell-out for the religious establishment? No, those who wear fine and expensive clothes...who indulge in luxury...are found in palaces. A shaky reed would never have the nerve to challenge Me in this way.

26. So then, what did you go out to see? A prophet? No doubt…that’s what you wanted to see, and that’s indeed what you did see. But, I tell you…this man, regardless of the mental battle he may be having right now in that lonely prison cell…is still a prophet…more than a prophet, in fact…he is a prophet, and then some!

27. This is the man about whom Malachi wrote: 'I will send my messenger ahead of You, who will prepare Your way before You.'

28. Here's the truth about John...among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater in history. Yet, in this kingdom, which he, in fact, introduced to you…in this new paradigm where the first shall be last, and the last shall be first…the order of things will be so radically changed, that whoever is perceived to be the least important…the least significant…the least worthy in the Kingdom of God, is actually greater than he!

29. The ordinary people...the disreputable...even the tax collectors...all the people who heard John, by being baptized by him into Kingdom-consciousness, are the clearest evidence that He was the genuine article.

30. But the Pharisees and religious leaders would have nothing to do with such a baptism and paradigm shift...they wouldn't think of giving up their place in line to those whom they considered to be their inferiors."

31. Jesus went on to say, "To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? How can I describe and account for them?

32. They are like spoiled children sitting in the marketplace, and calling out to each other, saying, 'We played instruments for you, but you didn't dance; and then we sang a funeral dirge, but you didn't cry.'

33. These people, and people like them, are never satisfied. Think about it...John came into the public eye fasting, and you called him a raving lunatic because of his hermetic lifestyle.

34. The Son of Man, on the other hand, accepted the invitation to every party, and socialized with every segment of society, and you called Him an unrestrained, gluttonous alcoholic...a friend of low-lifes.

35. But wisdom is proved right by all her children...vindicated by the lives of those who follow her."

5 comments:

Avatar said...

V.24...I like Luke's inclusion of "non-confrontational" (Matthew in MITN, does not remember this word). So maybe Luke had noticed that Jesus was not much into condemning type confrontation? Or even had noted what John's version of confronting had cost him?

Whatever, both MITN and LITN make it abundantly clear that a Jesus rebuke was not a call to pile on “against” John..."regardless of the mental battle", he is who he is and is true to who he is and Jesus calls him GREAT!

Because of the anointing on BITN to help the readers "see" the scenes in scripture...man...I really hope they also hear the call to compare accounts and even to compare paraphrases. But more than that, like v.35's account of wisdom's proof by her children, BITN will be proved by those who receive the original intent of the affirmation of God for their own relationship with Him as they find their place with Him in His vast Kingdom...now.

Son of Zadok said...

I am really anticipating getting a copy of this. I want the world to read this.

Anonymous said...

I relate to your several sermons and comments on John questioning Jesus, showing huge doubts, but you have said Jesus, “puts him in the best Light. ” You have said several times, and please keep saying it—“Jesus puts us in the best light,” because of the cross!!
Vey relevant to me this week- I had lots of trouble sleeping and thinking too much- seemed I had 11 dozen things to get done at work. For me, not sleeping, thinking too much about what I am afraid of—is a dark prison of doubt—glad you interpreted that Jesus may have understood John’s doubts. Anyway—I look back and see several miracles and my best strengths this past week. Today is Saturday, the week is over, and Spirit got me through the week-most things got done- some got canceled. The reason I am writing this is to strengthen my faith- because next week at work I will face the same challenges!!
But God will put the best spin on that week and the past week-will see my best self, will bless the work.
I feel comforted that Jesus will put the best spin on my life—cause the way some of my work is set up—one can really never get the requirements ever done-so it is a temptation to feel frustrated and less than victorious. And I’ll keep the job anonymous, so others reading can relate on principle.
It must be Spirit who gave you this interpretation on John’s doubting—because whenever you review this-it goes into my Spirit- and says—‘this is the truth—be comforted by this.’

I would not mind a bit if you wrote a book on Jesus putting the best spin on us. ..The way you always explain on this text. As for me, with my family back ground and my Calvinist background- and my personality—I could sure use encouragement. You may have heard the Calvinist summary in the 5 points:
T-totally depraved
U-unconditional election
L-limited atonement
I-irresistible grace
P-perseverance of the saints

I believe that Calvin was very influential in a great way to move the world into the Kingdom of God-but with my personal life- I always need encouragement as to my value…’love your neighbor as yourself—must love your self to fulfill this’
And this above is not meant to stir up controversy- just to remind myself- what I must process to believe that God really loves me and has my best as his goal!! You said, in the past, no one could really talk to you, if you were getting them to say the sinner’s prayer---
Well I really used to defend these 5 points above- and now I am understanding more that Spirit and revelation of God is not best lived by putting our understanding in a box of doctrine.

But we can go with the flow of Spirit revealing him/her self to us!! ( as your relate to Jesus saying in John 'I have much more to tell you')

So keep on listening to Spirit and keep on letting us know what you hear-even if if does not fit into your own personal box of doctrine, or my own personal box !!

Anonymous said...

I just noticed that as Jesus 'put the best spin on John' as I wrote above-He may have been blessing John- what if he had condemed John-for his weakness?
So I must put the best spin on some people, who have weakenss, to bless them to move in Spirit.

Annon in North GA
(for got to add to blog about Calvin)

SCRIBE said...

WISDOM in all things is the primary key that unlocks many doors! Amen.