Read Matthew 11:2-11

 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.”

 

 
 From Rev. Dr. Larry Grimes, Community Christian Church, Beech Bottom,   
  and Director of Church Relations, Bethany College: 
 

Are you the One who is to come?

John had  his doubts.

With true Prophets  there was always fire and thunder.

Ezekiel and Jeremiah on their bitter days.

Always there is thunder and awe

Amos with his ratty loin-cloth in a tangle.

Awesome fire and thunder

Daniel, in or out of the lion’s den.

John himself—no one has risen greater—

Preaching fire and winnowing forks

John had his doubts.

Roman soldiers everywhere. Roman rulers.

Priests in their pockets.  Money changers in the temple.

Tax collectors double-dipping from the purses of the people

John had his doubts.

John had his doubts, and so he had this disciples ask:

“Are you the One . . . Or do we wait some more?”

Jesus  answered: “The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised. And the poor have good news brought to them.”

blah. . . blah…blah…always the poor and their good news.

Nothing about the Romans.  The Priests. The Tax Collectors

No fire. No thunder. No winnowing forks. No axe to the roots.

It takes violence to bring in the Kingdom—good old thunder and awe

Eating with tax collectors, touching lepers,

     messing with bleeding women

releasing rotting corpses, blessing the poor, praising peace-makers

turning cheeks, going second miles, praying for enemies,

     taking up crosses

The Kingdom—shall the violent bear it away?

Or shall the meek inherit the earth?

John had his doubts.                                          And you . . . ?

Give us eyes to see the loving Kingdom as it comes.

May the violent not bear it away, in the name of the Prince of Peace.

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