Ever feel like the prayers of everyone else seem to get answered but yours? It can often make us feel exasperated with God.
In Matthew 11, we find Jesus an interesting incident which follows a times where Jesus does miracle after miracle. He heals the sick, casts out demons, restores sight to the blind, and more.
Yet the one man – John the Baptist, the forerunner to Christ, remains in jail. No miracle happening for him. It is at this time Jesus receives a message from John asking, “Are you really Him? Are you the Messiah we’ve all been waiting for?” (Matthew 11: 3)
I cannot help but wonder if John was not expecting Jesus to do something, perhaps miraculous even, to get him released. Jesus sends him this response instead …
“And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” (Matthew 11:6, NKJV)
Our morning group spent a little time on this one. Jesus offensive? What does this mean?
“Have you ever felt like God was doing miracles for everyone and their brother, but you seem to be the odd man out? It seems like God is keeping His promises to everyone but you?” (Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker, page 90)
There are times we can feel like throwing up our hands in the air or perhaps throwing in the towel, or maybe just throwing something. And it is at that very moment, offense can enter. We can give up on God. Think He’s not all that He says He is. Or able to do all that He says He can do. We may feel He has not kept His promises.
What do we do then?
Are we going to walk away? Are we going to be angry with God? Resentful even?
Or we can choose to live unoffended lives, knowing Jesus promises blessing if we are not offended by Him and what He does for others.
John the Baptist chose to live unoffended by Jesus. He did not get released from prison, in fact, he lost his life. Yet Jesus said there was none greater who had ever lived than John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11).
I have spent some time thinking about this. In Hebrews 11, the chapter hailed as the hall of faith, we find many who did undeniably amazing exploits for God because of their faith. There are also the nameless who were tortured, chained in prison, sawed in two, destitute, persecuted and mistreated (verse 37). And there is one verse tucked at the end which says this:
“These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” (Hebrews 11:39-40, NIV)
They had equal faith but did not receive the answers to their prayers. But here’s the thing – they still had faith. They remained faithful. Unoffended. And who knows what awaits them in the future Kingdom!
“Blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
Remain unoffended by Jesus!
This is Day 21 of 31 Days Of Going In Circles. You can find the entire series here .