Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
In this week’s Gospel reading, Matthew 11:2-15, John’s disciples come to Jesus with a question. They want to know if Jesus is “the one to come” or if there is another they should await.
Jesus answers them not with a theological lecture or even an illustration. He has them tell what they are seeing.
What actions do we see in Jesus? We see him healing, restoring, and even raising people from the dead. We see him bringing good news even to those outcast from society. We see him pausing to heal the person who could find no healing. We see him bringing food to people who have no resources. We see him laying his hand of blessing on those in need.
Often Jesus’ followers reflect badly on him. Occasionally we get it right and reflect well. But it is fairly common for us to act out of our own selfishness, our own fears, our own intelligence. Those actions may be offensive to others. Yet in verse six, Jesus says, “blessed is the one who is not offended by me” (ESV).
Jesus goes on to praise John the Baptist. He was a faithful messenger, proclaiming the coming of Jesus. He, like the other prophets, suffered for his faith.
In this age when those who have rejected Christianity are so ready to haughtily dismiss the Gospel due to the actions of some Christians, I’d like to make a brief reminder of the central role that Christians have played through history in bringing good to the world. Christians are at the heart and center of moves to establish hospitals, orphanages, charitable organizations to feed and clothe the poor, shelters for the homeless, and educational institutions which operate for non-profit motives. All these were initially established by Christians who wanted to bring healing and relief to their world.
May the Lord continue to raise up his servants who will care for their world.
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