John the Baptist (2)
Today we meet John the Baptist in his relationship with Jesus. He is in prison. We remember the circumstances. He has challenged Herod and he will suffer the consequences.
The Scripture says that John had heard what Jesus was doing. This obviously causes John some concerns. He sends a message to Jesus asking him about the truth of what he has heard. He is not at peace. What has John heard? He has heard that Jesus is healing on the Sabbath, he is dining with Tax Collectors, and he is letting women of ill repute touch him. The gossipers have been filling him in on all the news!!!!!! Hence the question: Are you the one who is to come, or have we got to wait for someone else?
The question can only mean that John is scandalised by the behaviour of Jesus. Jesus gives a clear answer. “Go back and tell John what you see and hear: the blind see again, and the deaf hear, and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the dead are raised to life and the Good News is proclaimed to the Poor; and happy is the man who does not lose faith in me.”
I remember the old English translation of the verse. It was: “blest is the man who is not scandalised by me.” Jesus is saying to John and to all of us that we must understand that his ministry is not about political power. It is about healing and the poor. Jesus stated clearly to John and to us that we must listen to him and not to the gossip. If his ministry is a scandal to us we need to change our thinking. He will not change.
Clearly, John got the message. Now he is ready to die for his Master. Now he is not scandalised by Jesus ministry of Good News. He has read all about it in the prophecies.
The birth of Jesus reminds us again of His mission to the humble and poor, The God Man is among us. We thank John the Baptist for announcing Him and helping us focus on the meaning of Christmas.