Jesus had just started. he was just getting going. and some guys came to ask him questions. his cousin, John, had heard the rumors that Jesus was claiming to be the One. the One that generations had longed for. the One that John was wacked out for, living a life so outside the box that people couldn’t help but pay attention.
and so he sent some guys to find out the truth.
they arrive and ask this Jesus character if what they’ve heard is true. is he the One?! and Truth answers:
Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.
that’s not what i was expecting. if the church today were “the guys,” what would we have told John? because this seems a bit off message…
he didn’t say “i am he…i am not a homosexual. i am not a democrat. i am not a murderer. i’ve never told a lie.”
he didn’t say “i am he…i don’t drink, smoke or chew…or date girls that do.”
he didn’t say “i am he…i show up to the temple every Saturday.”
he didn’t say “i am he…sit and let me share with you my systematic theology that proves it.”
he didn’t say “i am he…after all, i know all the right people.”
he didn’t say “i am he…come and let’s topple this empire with my strength.”
instead he chose to prove himself as the Way, the Truth, and the Life by testifying to the ways that he serves the poor and the oppressed. the beaten-down and hopeless. the weak and dying. he didn’t choose to cozy up to Emperors and Caesars in hopes of one day succeeding them. instead he touched lepers to heal them. he didn’t stockpile an arsenal to destroy his enemies. instead he lived shalom.
this radical One. he’s still affirming who he is to us. we see it when we serve those who have less. we experience Him in a touch, a smile, in a glimmer of hope. when we step away from our comfort to live simply. when we abandon greed for giving. i need to live more of my life in these alleys of kingdom come.