The great man, John the Baptist, is in prison under Herod when he sends his disciples to Jesus to ask this question, “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (Luke 7:20) He has given his whole life to the project of preparing the way of the Lord. He was present to the moment at the Jordan when he baptised Jesus and heard the voice from heaven saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17) Is he asking this question for his benefit, or for the benefit of the disciples he sends to Jesus with that question? Certainly it is for our benefit even now.
A question like this is in search of the truth. In this case it is a truth with a capital “T.” Jesus gives us that truth in his answer to John’s disciples. “Go tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.” (Luke 7:22) Yes! Jesus is the One that had been prophesied from of old, the one who would give sight to the blind, who would raise the dead. He is the one who has done ever so much more than that. He is the one who has come among us, who suffered and died for us, conquering our worst fears and our oldest enemies: sin and death.
Jesus is the One; we need look for no other. This is the truth. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life that shows us the way back to Paradise. All the philosophies in the world, all the political “saviors” that come before us promising to lead us into a better world, are nothing in comparison to Jesus. The world is a Vanity Fair through which we sojourn seeking our way back home to God. It is so often full of pretty sounding ideas and attractive salesmen that tempt us away from the narrow path. They are, as we have been warned, wolves in sheep’s clothing. And, yes, some even present themselves as Christians, as Christian leaders. Though they couch their arguments in religious language, they are more committed to their own worldly fame or wealth. If we do not keep our eyes on Jesus, we are vulnerable to being distracted and carried away from the narrow path by such as these.
John’s question has been answered. The answer that Jesus gave to John’s disciples is the same answer he gives to us. We need look nowhere else for the true Messiah. He has come. He is real. He is present to us. If we repent and go to him in our needs, he will heal our blindnesses, he will help us walk again in his way of peace, he will cleanse us of our sins, and he will help us hear his word more clearly and more dearly. Most importantly, he will raise us from the dead on the Last Day. The good news has been proclaimed to us. We are no longer poor. Indeed, we are to share this wealth of love that we have received with the poor around us now. As Christians, we are called to do this in Jesus’ name. We are to do it for him, not for ourselves. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the source of all that is good, true and beautiful. Nothing in this world, not wealth, not fame, not power, indeed, no philosophy and no politician should take us away from HIm. It is in him alone that we live, move and have our being.
Jesus, you are the One. To you we wish to give our entire lives. Help us to do this and in doing so, make of us your good and faithful servants, preaching your good news to the world with our daily lives. We pray this in your name, Jesus. Amen!
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