Home > Uncategorized > My Cousin, My God (Part 2)

My Cousin, My God (Part 2)

Earlier this week I wrote on John the Baptist and his recognition of Jesus as the Messiah. After preaching about the coming Messiah, and most likely having heard stories about what was prophesied over he and Jesus when they were still in the womb, his recognition of Jesus as the Messiah comes as a surprise it seems. But his certainty is evident in his proclamation: “I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

As my friend JD Walt tweeted the other day, “There is a difference between clarity and certainty though many mistake the latter for the former.” This is certainty from the mouth of Jesus’ cousin if I ever heard it.

And yet in Luke 7 there is a curious encounter between the disciples of John the Baptist and Jesus. While in prison, John hears of the many things Jesus is teaching and doing, and even though Jesus is doing the very things John proclaimed the Messiah would do, John is confused about the identity of this Jesus guy.

And so he sends his disciples to ask Jesus the following: “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”

From certainty to doubt, in a short amount of time. Jesus responds as one would perhaps expect – graciously affirms John and reminds him that the Son of Man came to bring good news to all, especially those who deeply know their own need. As only Jesus can, he praises John as the greatest of all the prophets, and then subsequently tells all who are listening that even the least in the Kingdom of God is greater than John.

What an wonderful affirmation for those of us who move between certainty of who we are and what believe and utter confusion over who we are and what we are to do. Here is John the Baptist, the greatest prophet declaring one moment his certainty about the divinity of Christ, and the next moment questioning whether or not his cousin really is the Messiah.

May we see with clarity who Jesus really is, and then hold onto the promise of our place in the kingdom when we just aren’t sure that what we proclaimed before was actually true.

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