John’s two disciples found Jesus and said to him, “John the Baptist sent us to ask, ‘Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?’” Luke 7:20 (NLT)
John was in prison. Can you imagine it? The prisons then were damp, dark cells in the bowels of some structure. While there, his disciples came to visit and told him of all the things Jesus was doing. Jesus was healing tons of people. He was casting out demons; he was raising people from the dead. Miraculous things.
John sent them to Jesus to ask him if he was really the Messiah. Wait. What?
John’s whole ministry was about declaring that Jesus was the Messiah. He said it over and over again. Early in his journey he saw Jesus coming and declared “Behold, the Lamb of God!” When he baptized him he saw the Holy Spirit descend on him. John knew Jesus was the Messiah.
So what happened? John knew his end was near. He knew he was going to be put to death. And I bet he was afraid. I wonder if as he sat in his cell and contemplated what was coming if he began to wonder why Jesus wasn’t helping him out of this. Do you think he reasoned that if Jesus was the Messiah, why didn’t he free him?. After all, John had served him faithfully all these years. Maybe the thought crossed his mind that Jesus was not the Messiah. After all, if he was, he could do something.
Ever happen to you? Have you ever been in the thick of it (whatever it is) and you have prayed and prayed and prayed. And no relief. No answer. It is so tempting to believe that if God were God he would fix the problem. Maybe he’s not. Satan loves to put that lie in our heads.
Jesus did answer John. He told John to look at everything that was happening; not just at his cell. Look broader. God is moving. Refocus and you will see it.
Jesus did not save John. There was a purpose and plan for John’s life. Jesus did not interfere with that. Even though John was beheaded, Jesus was still the Messiah. And he is still the Messiah today. No matter what your life looks like right now, Jesus is still King. He still died for you. He loves you. Even if you don’t get the answers to the prayers you are praying.