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Honor: Are You The One? Or Shall We Look for Another?

Honor: Are You The One? Or Shall We Look for Another?

In the past series of blogs, we’ve been visiting on the Biblical truths in 1 Samuel 2:30 where God, The Father spoke, "for them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed."

God honors those who honor Him. We’ve seen that another word for this honor is REVERENCE or "to revere". But what does that really look like? How do we do that, show reverence to God?

We’ve seen examples of actions and attitudes that are not reverence, as when "the disciples were still afraid, slowly coming to grips with what they had seen. Disciples (to one another): Who is this Jesus? How can it be that He has power over even the wind and the waves?" (Mark 4:41 The Voice)

And these boys in the boat weren’t the only ones still growing in faith. The Scriptures say in John 7:31 that "many of the people believed on him," but in the very same verse they said, "When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?"

Then there was the hometown crowd. Mark Chapter 6 tells us that, "Jesuswent to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.

“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.”He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

But then there was John…

John, the Baptizer, the one sent to prepare the way of The Lord; the one who leaped inside his mother’s womb at the approaching of Jesus inside of Mary’s womb. John, who baptized Jesus, who saw the dove descend in affirmation from God at the baptism, whose life’s assignment was to proclaim Jesus’ coming.

John, in jail and about to be beheaded, sent word to Jesus to ask, "Are you the One? Or shall we look for another?"

After all the miraculous events in both their lives confirming God’s own Son, Jesus, was John now yielding to doubt, questioning his own belief? Maybe it was in anguish, disappointment, or misunderstanding?

Sure, as John sat in jail, realizing that Jesus was not coming to set him free from the jail, he could have allowed emotions to lead to thoughts… "I mean, c’mon. You are my cousin; can you really be the Christ? Otherwise you’d be rescuing me right now if you were the Christ."

Those are the kinds of questions that are common to humanity when we are in challenging places. They were the tone of the question when the disciples asked, "Don’t you care?"

He could have. But he did not. John’s questions revealed none of that. It wasn’t asked as a lack of faith. It was not resistance to believe who Christ was.

This was a much different question, from a different heart.

His question was from the heart that honored God.

How do we know that? Watch this exchange in Matthew Chapter 11. With eyes to see, it clearly shows us the difference between reverence and resistance:

Beginning about verse 3, John sent messengers, and said to Jesus:

"…Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?

Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and show John again those things which you do hear and see:

The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them."

When the disciples asked, "Don’t you care?" (offended) and then, "Who is this?" (disbelief) Jesus replied to them, "How is it that you have no faith?"

When the hometown crowd asked their questions, the Scriptures say, "And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” … He was amazed at their lack of faith."

But when John asked in honor and faith, having eyes to see the appointed times and anticipating that the time was near for both he and Jesus to die, Jesus replied to tell him that the lame walk, the blind see, the deaf hear, captives are set free, and the dead are raised.  

Why? Because he knew John had faith to receive the confirming Word.

Instead of rebuking him for no faith, Jesus instead proclaims, "And blessed is he, {John the Baptist} whosoever shall not be offended in me."

And he went further, saying:

"What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.

But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.

For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee."

(Remember, Jesus said in Matthew 10, “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”)

John’s faith and willing obedience honored God. In return, The Father, through Jesus, honored John, saying of him:

"Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."

John’s reverence for God, for Jesus, and for his calling released the faith to receive.

John wasn’t asking in fear or doubt. He was asking to confirm if he was seeing correctly the time of the Kingdom. Because John believed, the answer Jesus sent to him told him all he needed to know… his race had been run and the victoriously prepared.

Because Love asked.

God honors those who honor (revere) Him. So, how do we honor God?

By believing Him.

John understood the assignment and knew the privileged role he had in it. I believe that display of honor and faith must have encouraged Jesus as he began what John had prophesied: He must increase and I must decrease.

John honored God, The Father by believing in His Goodness, and John honored God by believing in His Son ~ as the Christ, as more than a prophet. (SELAH) God honored John (end from the beginning) by trusting him with preparing the way before The Lord.

Like God knew of Abraham, He knew of John, that John would see the finished work by faith, and be faithful to complete his race.

And, Jesus? I believe that as a man, as John’s cousin, as the One whom John gave his life to prepare the way for, Jesus heart was touched deeply by John’s faith-filled question and his willing death. The Scriptures say he went off to be alone when he heard of John’s death. But the crowds were great who followed him and he had compassion on them. Even with the news of John’s death, he put them first, ministering to them, healing the sick, and he even fed them before sending them away. 

How could Jesus continue on after John was beheaded?

Because Love asked.

Because honor, reverence, for his Father released the faith to receive ~ faith to receive what The Father had already spoken, the finished work, as John stepped into eternity and Jesus stepped into his earthly destiny:

"And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17)

Jesus believed Him.

 

Selah. And we will visit again on this soon!

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