December 10, 2010

Dec. 10: The unexpected

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By Jake Shipe, resident director
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 11:2-11 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:

Jews in the time of Jesus were waiting for the Messiah, the coming king. The Jewish nation was living in a time of oppression. The Messiah was to be the one to save the world and reconcile the Israelites to God. God sent his son Jesus to reconcile not just the Jews, but all who would choose to believe. However, the coming of Jesus and the proclamation of his ministry did not meet the expectations of the Jewish people.

In today’s Scripture Matthew 11:2-11, John’s disciples came to Jesus to inquire on John’s behalf if Jesus really was the one for which John had been preparing the way. Jesus answered John’s disciples in an unexpected way. Instead of simply saying, “Yes,” he ran down the laundry list of signs, wonders and teachings that characterized his untraditional and unorthodox ministry. John and his disciples needed to be encouraged and reminded that when God is in control, we need to expect the unexpected.

There are times in our lives, like John’s, when things do not go as planned, When these things happen, life begins to make less sense, we get confused and we tend to get discouraged. Just as Christ encouraged John’s disciples, so too Scripture and the remembrance of Christ’s unexpected birth encourages us today. This week’s theme is “go and tell,” so I encourage you to go and tell others what Christ has done for you during life’s unexpected situations.

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 11:2-11 (NRSV)

When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”

As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

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Comments (2)

  1. Thanks for your words today, Jake. It’s always a joy to read your devotions.

    Jeff Hochstetler December 10, 2010 |
  2. I think Jesus was using the words from Isaiah 61 to affirm his identity as the Messiah. Instead of doing what was unexpected, he was in fact confirming what the Jews were expecting, going through the “laundry list of signs, wonders and teachings” as attestation to the ancient words, which was the arrival of the Messiah.

    Phyllis December 14, 2010 |