Johnâ€™s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, he sent them to the Lord to ask, â€œAre you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?â€ Â Â Â Luke 7:18-19 (NIV)
Johnâ€™s disciples had heard him preach that One would come who would be the Savior. The One who would save. Those same disciples ask Jesus if He is the One. Makes me think that there have been others who cam and claimed and disappointed.
Like those disciples, I, too, searched for the One. I looked for the One who could answer questions no one else could. I searched for the One who was bigger than my fears of war, illness, and all the things beyond my control. That list got longer as I got older.
Johnâ€™s disciples had seen the miracles of Jesus. The sick healed. The dead raised. And yet they still wanted Jesus to say flat out that He was the One.
Jesus (dare I say, â€œas usualâ€?) does not give a clear answer. He tells Johnâ€™s disciples to go back and testify to what they have seen. â€œBe a witness.â€ And then there is that last sentence.
[Jesus said,] â€œBlessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.â€Â Â Â Â v. 23 (NIV)
You have to read on to get the meaning of that sentence. To see how Jesus was warning Johnâ€™s disciples and His own that life was going to get harder, not easier.
All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesusâ€™ words, acknowledged that Godâ€™s way was right, because they had been baptized by John. But the Pharisees and experts in the law rejected Godâ€™s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.Â Â Â Â Â vv. 29-30 (NIV)
Johnâ€™s disciples had accepted the gospel of repentance. And that, I believe, is a crucial point as to where I will fall away. A repentant heart is a heart that has been broken by the enormity of my sin and miraculously restored by Jesus. The restoration can not occur in my own strength; in my own good works. When I accept my inability, I cling to the One who can.
[Jesus said,]â€œCome to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.â€ Â Â Matthew 11:28-30 (WEB)