THE KING’S BUSINESS
Here there is the self-evident truthfulness that surpasses all the possibilities of art. But though John doubted, he did the wisest thing that any man can do when in doubt, he went right to Jesus Himself with his doubts. For a moment he was not clear that Jesus was “the Coming One,” but he was clear that Jesus’ testimony about Him self should be accepted. Such a doubter will not long remain a doubter. If those who today doubt that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God will only go right to Him and ask Him, He will soon tell them and they will know. John’s question was right to the point, “Art Thou the Coming One ?”—i. e. the One whom all the prophets from Moses to Malachi foretold was to come as a fulfiller of all God’s promises to His people. The thought very likely had come to John, “If He is the Coming One, why does He delay to manifest Himself as King and to dethrone Herod and why does He let me lie here in a dungeon ?” At that very hour when John’s messengers arrived, Jesus was giving visible demonstration that He was the “Coming One” by doing the very things that it was prophesied that the Coming One would do, curing diseases and plagues, opening the eyes of the blind and casting out evil spirits (cf. Luke 8:21). For an answer to John’s question, Jesus sim ply points the two messengers to what they with their own eyes see going on and to the glad testimonies that they heard, and bids them “Go, tell John the things which ye do hear and see." The catalogue of Di vine works accomplished before their very eyes, or testified to to their very ears, in cluded the very things predicted of the Messiah (Isa. 35:S, 6; 42:6, 7; 61:1-3). Our Lord constantly appealed to His mir acles as proof that He was Messiah and the Son of God (John 5:36; 14:11; 15:24). In the present instance, the things which John’s disciples heard reached even to the raising of the dead, for the son of the Widow of Nain had been recently raised (cf. Luke 7:11-21), and he quite likely was among those about Jesus on this day. Jesus added a gentle word of reproof and warning
suffering that are inevitably connected with his following in the footsteps of his Master. He that refuses to take up his own cross and follow after Christ is not worthy ol Him. We may try to save our lives by being disloyal to Him at some point, per haps some small point, but instead of finding our life in this way, we shall lose it. But if we are ready to sacrifice our life, if need be, because of our loyalty to Him, we shall find it. The smallest act of service done because of our love and loyalty to Christ shall have its reward. Our Lord will not let anything done for Him go unrewarded. Friday, February 5. Matthew 11 :l-6. John was in prison in Herod's fortress Macherus but the news of the mighty deeds of Jesus penetrates even to his dungeon. John’s disciples have access ,to him in his imprisonment and they tell him the strange reports that fill the air (Luke 7 :18). At an earlier date John had had a Divine revela tion that Jesus was the baptizer with the Holy Spirit and a clear, positive faith in Him as the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world and as the Son of God (John 1:33, 29, 34). John, however, was not perfect, he was intensely human, and when his active spirit was shut up in prisin, doubts began to come, as they are so likely to come to a man of intense activity when he is obliged to sit still and wait (cf. 1 Kings 19:3, 4). Many find a contradiction in the story because of the difficulty ot reconciling John’s present questioning with his former clear faith, but those who have any real knowledge of men, even the might iest men of God, and especially those who know their own hearts with their moments of clear vision and unquestioning faith and their other moments of conflict and uncer tainty, will find this story most natural, and in the supposed contradiction will find con clusive evidence of the genuineness and exact truthfulness of the story. It would never have been possible for any one mak ing up a story of things that never had oc- curredj to have fabricated it in this way.
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