I love it when you get an entirely new perspective on an old, familiar story from the Bible. This morning I heard the most interesting devotional in our all-staff meeting which did exactly that. And frankly, I think God may have intended it just for me.
One of our younger pastors started with the story of John the Baptist, in prison in Matthew 11. He sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” Think about that. This is the same John who baptized Jesus, who recognized “one greater,” who saw the dove and heard the voice from heaven. Seriously!? Now he’s not sure?
But consider where he was – in prison. Our young pastor suggested that perhaps John had turned his focus to his circumstances, his surroundings, himself. When we’re in a cold, dark prison – that’s when the doubts creep in. Is Jesus really who he says he is?
Notice Jesus didn’t answer the question. He shifted the focus. He instructed the disciples to report to John “what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.”
In other words, it’s not about what’s happening to you, it’s about seeing what’s happening around you. You have to shift your focus from what you’re doing, to what God’s doing. (And when I say “you,” what I mean is… me.)