Stumble, But Not Fall
October 26, 2020
Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive 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. And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me” (Matthew 11:4-6).
Down through the ages people have had their doubts about Jesus. Today there are those who do not regard Jesus as Son of God, Messiah, Lord and Savior, etc. even though they recognize Him as a great teacher, the leader of the Christian religion, and even a prophet from God.
For reasons stated in yesterday’s Word of Encouragement, John questioned Jesus’ role as Messiah. It certainly wasn’t what everyone expected. In prison what John heard from his own disciples concerning Jesus was markedly different from what he thought the Messiah would be.
Jesus told John’s disciples to report back to him and tell him that He was doing what the Scriptures said He was to do - the blind were given sight, the disabled were made mobile, the diseased were made whole, the deaf had their hearing restored, and dead people were being raised to life again. Above all of this, the good news of the Kingdom of God was being proclaimed throughout the land. All of these things the prophets said God’s Messiah would perform. Nothing was said about the Messiah being a military/political leader.
Jesus is His own proof of who He is and the claims He has made. Tried as they did, the elders of Israel could not refute the truth He taught, the authority He had, the divine power He exercised, and the grace, mercy, and love of God He displayed. Even Nicodemus was compelled to say, Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him (John 3:2).
Jesus told John’s disciples to tell him, blessed is he who does not take offense at Me. A person who believes in Jesus Christ for who He truly is, is truly blessed by God. John had not fallen from faith, he had simply ‘stumbled’ in faith. He questioned Jesus in his own mind based on his personal assessment and not according to the truth of God’s Word. “Blessed is he who can be left in prison, can be silenced in his testimony, can seem to be deserted of his Lord, and yet can shut out every doubt” (Charles Spurgeon).
John regained his courage, faith, and peace. May all of us who stumble in faith because of circumstances be encouraged by the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the truth of God’s Word.
“Lord Jesus, thank You for the Holy Spirit whom You have sent to be our comfort and guide. Thank You for Your Word that encourages us with Your truth. We live in difficult times, and many of us stumble and fall in faith. May we be an encouragement to each other to persevere in faith by trusting in Jesus every moment of every day. To Your praise and glory I ask, Amen.”