There is a scene in the Bible — Matthew 11 — where
John the Baptist sends one of his disciples to ask
Jesus a question: “Are you the one who is to come,
or are we to wait for another?” It is one thing to
do the dirty work for a friend and ask a girl
whether she thinks he is cool or whatever, but it is
another thing to ask the Messiah if he really is,
well, the Messiah.
Are you really the one?
Jesus turns to the poor fellow, whose knees I
imagine were knocking as loud as the bass drummer in
the grade school band, and says, “Go and tell John
what you hear and see: the blind receive their
sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the
deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have
good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who
takes no offense at me.”
That’s it? Nothing else? No Roman Road, or long,
detailed analysis of the Hebrew Scriptures? No
theological declaration that articulates the
Just “Go and tell…”
Notice how Jesus doesn’t answer the question with a
‘yes’ or a ‘no.” Also, isn’t it interesting how
Jesus does not proclaim himself but proclaims the
reign and love of God in this interaction?
Ultimately Jesus came among the people to serve
them, bringing life. Instead of casting away those
persons who are at the margins of society -- persons
that many would want to send away and out of sight
-- it is precisely to those people that the Messiah
came to restore and save.
Some of us at First Presbyterian Church are reading
a book titled Acts of Faith: The Story of an
American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a
Generation by Eboo Patel. In it, Eboo recalls a
moment in his journey of faith when he ran across a
guy who was always starting up new clubs at his
college. When Eboo asked why he always was doing
something, his colleague replied, “Because the most
important thing you can learn is how to turn an idea
So I ask you, what have you seen? If all you have
seen is the ‘bad’, I invite you then to step back,
take a deep breath, and listen with your eyes for
the goodness of God. As you do, it is my hope you’ll
recognize how Jesus comes among us in His Word and
through the Spirit to stir us up, to get involved in
his ministry among those who are left out, on the
margins of society, and who are in need.
Our involvement need not be as extravagant and
exciting as restoring sight to the blind and hearing
to the deaf. Rather, what God may stir up with us is
to remind people of their beloved-ness, to see
people as the beautiful creation they are, and to
tell others about the goodness and love of God.
Chances are, this won’t answer any real questions.
But it might inspire hope, bringing to fruition the
very real idea that God loves the world…
So friends, tell the world what you have seen. Tell
your colleagues about God’s love by exhibiting God’s
love. Change the world by loving! Change the
community by loving! Change yourself by loving!
[Pastor Adam Quine of First Presbyterian Church