83. Genuine

Jesus, through his actions, confirms who he is to John the Baptist.

Luke 7:18-23

The disciples of John the Baptist told John about everything Jesus was doing. So John called for two of his disciples, and he sent them to the Lord to ask him, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?”

John’s two disciples found Jesus and said to him, “John the Baptist sent us to ask, ‘Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?’”

At that very time, Jesus cured many people of their diseases, illnesses, and evil spirits, and he restored sight to many who were blind. Then he told John’s disciples, “Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard—the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.” And he added, “God blesses those who do not fall away because of me.”

Reflect

In the previous story, Jesus had just healed an only widow’s son, and the crowds hailed Jesus as a great prophet. Luke now tackled this idea head on with John’s question – “Are you the One?” You see, everyone, and most likely John too, expected the Messiah to come and overthrow the Romans, establishing himself as Israel’s king once and for all. But the kingdom Jesus was announcing didn’t seem to be like that. It wasn’t what people expected. There was no doubt that Jesus was sent from God, but it was a fair question for John to ask if Jesus really was ‘the one’ they’d been waiting for.

But Jesus didn’t ask them to take his own word for it – he pointed them to the miracles themselves – miracles that echoed what the great prophet Isaiah had predicted would accompany the arrival of the Messiah. Jesus then finished by saying that anyone who followed Jesus would be blessed – not just John, or his disciples – anyone. The blessing from God was Jesus himself, and he was freely available to anyone and everyone.

In our culture, we’re so used to a product coming with a whole heap of PR and advertising, that we often value a product, not on its merit, but on how good the packaging and advertising that comes with it is. It’s cringe-worthy, I know, but we do this. Jesus isn’t using any PR or advertising. He’s saying, ‘Don’t take my word for it. Check out the product’ – and it sings!

Do

Ask yourself, are you like Jesus? Are you the real deal? Are you consistent, authentic, genuine, and behaving with integrity? Today, commit to being consistent, authentic and genuine before God and before others.

Pray

Holy God
Forgive me when I’ve been fake;
when I’ve put on a mask or a front to the real me.
I mess up all the time;
thinking, speaking and doing things that dishonour you.
Fill me with your Spirit,
that I might be consistent, authentic and genuine.
Help me to be a person of integrity,
that when people see me, they might see you.
This day and forever.
Amen.

Think

In what way is it surprising and reassuring that John had to ask if Jesus was ‘the one’?

Why didn’t Jesus simply reply to John with, “Yes, it’s me!”?

How can we demonstrate consistency and authenticity before God and others?