I have been studying the book of Matthew with a couple of close friends for the past several months, and it continues to blow me away. I have been a Christian for a VERY long time and have read the gospels numerous times, but I continue to be amazed at what I am learning about Jesus. Most likely we are all familiar with Matthew 11. The verses at the end of that chapter are some of the most loved words in scripture: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
But I want to take a look at verses 2-11:
“John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, ‘Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?’ Jesus told them, ‘Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen – the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. And tell him, ‘God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.’ As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began talking about him to the crowds . . . ‘Were you looking for a prophet? Yes, and he is more than a prophet. John is the man to whom the Scriptures refer when they say, ‘Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way before you.’ I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist . . . ‘”
I find it interesting that John sends his disciples to ask Jesus if He’s “the One.” Keep in mind that John’s mother was Elizabeth, a relative of Jesus’ mother. John grew up knowing who Jesus was. AND he baptized him. I can’t imagine that he didn’t hear the words of the Father when He identified Jesus as His Son.
John knows, but his circumstances have clouded his vision. He is in prison and I’m guessing that he might be losing heart. He might be wondering why Jesus would leave him there if he truly is the Messiah. Jesus could have answered John’s disciples with a simple “Yes, I AM” – He was known to do that at times. But I think he wanted John to come to the conclusion on his own. It’s like Jesus is saying, “Come on, John. Think about it. You know who I am. And you know what? Who I am has to be enough for you.”
Jesus sends John’s disciples on their way and THEN he turns to the crowd and tells THEM how awesome John is. Jesus loved John. Why wouldn’t he let John know that? Well, he did, didn’t he? After all, he came to die for John . . . and for you . . . and for me. That single act should be enough for every one of us.
Jesus wouldn’t guarantee John a way out of his circumstances. In fact, we know that John was beheaded before it was all said and done. But what Jesus offered him was far greater than anything this world could take away from him. He offered Himself.
Where does Jesus need to be enough for you today? Think about it. You know who he is, what he’s done. He loves you like crazy. In the midst of your circumstances, let him be enough. Come to Him . . . He will give you rest.