Church Column: Rethinking Jesus
BY PASTOR MARK WHITTEMORE
Pequot Lakes Baptist Church
In Matthew 11 we read that John the Baptist was in prison for publicly preaching against King Herod. He heard about how Jesus was healing the sick and raising the dead and saving sinners.
In verse two, he sends people to Jesus to ask Him, “Are you the One who was to come, or should we look for someone else?” And I’m like, “How can you even ask that question? You’ve seen Jesus in action! You even said in John 1:29, 'Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!' So where are these second thoughts coming from?”
I think we can appreciate where John is coming from when he asked this question. He didn’t think he would end up in prison all by himself. He expected Jesus to come and punish the Herods of this world. But instead, Jesus preached grace. Instead of punishing sinners, He reached out to sinners. Instead of ushering in a political kingdom, Jesus preached about a heavenly kingdom. Jesus was not the Messiah that John the Baptist expected. He was a better Messiah than John the Baptist expected!
Sometimes it’s good for us to doubt the image we have of Christ, because the image we have might not be the right one. Maybe it is time for you to have some good, healthy, second thoughts about Jesus. How do you think of Jesus?
Do you think of Him as demanding and overbearing, full of thou shalt do this but thou shalt not do that? If so, then you need to have some second thoughts about that Jesus, because Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Or maybe you think of Jesus as one who is distant and unconcerned with what happens to us. If so, then you need to have some second thoughts about that Jesus. The Bible says in Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Or maybe you think of Jesus as a person who is easy to follow and always makes sure that things go the way you want them to go. If so, then you need to have some second thoughts about that Jesus. The Bible says in John 16:33 that “in this world you will have trouble. But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Or maybe you think of Jesus as a teacher, and nothing more? If so, then you need to have some second thoughts about that Jesus. The Bible says in Revelation 1:17, “I am the first and the last. I am the Living One, I was dead, and behold, I am alive forever and ever. And I hold the keys to death and Hades.”
Or perhaps you think of Jesus as one way to heaven, but not the only way to heaven. If so, then you need to have some second thoughts about that Jesus. The Scriptures teach us (in John 14:6) that Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Second thoughts about Jesus are good, if they lead to the right thoughts about Jesus. My prayer is that you will see Jesus as He really is! Think about it!