A message about Jesus, the game changer: Matthew 11:2-11 reminds God’s people which side of history we are on (Advent 3A).
Matthew, the most Jewish of Gospel writers, has a lesson for impatient followers of Jesus. John the Baptist asks about Jesus: “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” [v3]
Then: is Jesus the Game Changer?
John the Baptist was so confident that he knew who Jesus was when he could see him face to face, when he baptised him. Now he is in prison he is not so sure.
- Why is he there, waiting to die?
- Why isn’t Herod, that Roman puppet, in prison instead of me?
- Why aren’t his foreign masters gone?
- Why aren’t us Jews, God’s own people, free; why are we not well on the way to ruling the world?
Jesus replies, reminding John that he is doing EXACTLY what was prophesied.
Jesus reminds the crowd that John is more than a prophet: “Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written:
“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.’ ” [Mal 3:1]
Malachi was telling the Jews that God was fed up with their moaning, expecting to be saved, not because they were faithful, but just because they were Jews – born of women (not of God the Father).
Now: a Different Perspective
John the Baptist could not imagine that we could be followers of Jesus, could be God’s people, because we are not Jews. We live twenty centuries after him in a country he never knew existed. The Roman rulers of the world are a distant memory!
We do not see Jesus face to face and yet we know him, we believe and trust him. We who are saved by his sacrifice and live with the Holy Spirit in us are born again – born from above; we may be the ‘least in the kingdom of heaven’ but we are greater than John, the prophet who baptised Jesus.
We have a different perspective! So, in Advent, we wait.