A while back I was having a conversation with a dear brother in the Lord discussing having “Kingdom Vision” and seeing the big picture. When to my surprise, a scripture that I had not been meditating on, or even heard a sermon or teaching on that I could recall, rose up out of my spirit and came out of my mouth. Since that day however, I think about and meditate on it quite frequently. I am reminded of a statement that a man of God from my past used to make: “The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing!” Sometimes I think we lose sight of what the main thing is. This Blog is meant to stir up your remembrance to the main thing.
“And it came about that when Jesus finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to TEACH and PREACH in their cities. Now when John (the Baptist) in prison HEARD OF THE WORKS OF CHRIST, he sent word by his disciples, and said to Him, ‘Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?’ And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Go and report to John what you hear and see: the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT and the LAME WALK, the LEPERS ARE CLEANSED and the DEAF HEAR, and the DEAD ARE RAISED UP, and the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM.’” Matthew 11:1-5 NASB (emphasis mine)
Several things in this text strike me. First it was John who boldly declared:
“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:29 NASB
John seemed to be the only person alive at the time of the beginning of the earthly ministry of Jesus who had a revelation of who He was. He was also the one who declared:
“After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals. I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Mark 1: 7 & 8 NASB
You would think that John because of being the greatest prophet under the Old Covenant (see Luke 7: 24-28), next to Jesus, and the revelation that he walked in, surely understood who Jesus was and what He was all about. Yet from our text we see that even he had doubts if Jesus was indeed The Messiah, The Christ, and The Anointed One!
I believe that when John declared: ‘behold the Lamb of God’ he was speaking from the anointing of his office as Prophet; and when he asked are you the one he was speaking from his depression and flesh while incarcerated. It could also perhaps be that John became unsure of who Jesus was because like the other Jews of his day he was looking for The Messiah to come and deliver them physically from the oppression of the Roman Empire. They were a people who were more concerned about physical oppression while Jesus was more concerned about spiritual oppression. Remember the Apostle John wrote in his Epistle:
“The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8 NASB
Jesus did not come to establish a physical kingdom in His first coming that will be established in His second coming. They knew that Messiah would establish a physical kingdom, but did not understand that the enemy had to be dealt with first, before that physical kingdom could be set up. They did not have the benefit that we do of Apostolic writings of the New Covenant like:
“For we not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 NLT
So it could be that because of this John was asking are you really the one? In essence he was saying Jesus, what is your proof?
The next thing that strikes me is what Jesus said His proof was. We see the answer to this in the words that He spoke to John’s disciples. In actuality we could sum up what Jesus said His proof was in two words: POWER and PREACHING. Notice that the first things that Jesus talks about are the miracles of healing and deliverance that are taking place in His ministry. He speaks of healing of the blind, lame, lepers, and deaf while even the physically dead are being raised. This is always the first proof of Jesus, the demonstration of the power of God! The second proof was that He was preaching the Gospel.
I cannot help but wonder if we as the body of Christ in the earth today are supposed to be carrying out the same ministry that He began 2000 years ago, what would be our proof that we really are His ambassadors. If Jesus could say His proof was the power of God that He demonstrated and His preaching of the Gospel, we should be able to say the same thing, however in most cases I really don’t believe that in reality we could without being guilty of lying. This should not be! Either the Word of God is true or it isn’t. I believe we need to go back to the basics of New Testament Christianity and keep the main thing, the main thing. Jesus said:
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1: 8 NASB
Jesus also said:
“Truly, truly I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.” John 14:12 NASB
Either what Jesus said is true or it isn’t! Where is our proof?
Unfortunately, I think we have been drawn away from the basics of things that we used to hold dear and be excited about. We have allowed culture and intellect to play a greater role in our thinking and expectancy than the power of God, which should never be! We need to be reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul:
“My teaching and preaching were not with words of human wisdom that persuade people but with proof of the power that the Spirit gives. This was so that your faith would be in God’s power and not in human wisdom.” 1 Corinthians 2:4 & 5 NCV
“Believe Me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me. Or believe because of the miracles I have done.” John 14:11 NCV
The point is simply this, if we don’t preach the Gospel in the power of the Spirit with signs and wonders accompanying us we have no proof. Jesus had proof! Most of us don’t! The sad indictment of the body of Christ that I see in the earth today is that we have in general become the church that Paul warned his spiritual son Timothy to stay away from:
“Holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these.” 2 Timothy 3:5 NASB
Let us purpose in this hour to not be that church anymore. Let us be like Jesus who boldly declared:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18 & 19 NASB
God give us a generation who will in holy boldness preach the Gospel and demonstrate the Gospel. That is what this world is looking for. When Jesus commissioned His disciples in Mark chapter 16, He told them to go preaching everywhere to every creature and to demonstrate God’s power by the signs that would follow them.
“And they went out and PREACHED everywhere, while the LORD WORKED WITH THEM, AND CONFIRMED THE WORD BY THE SIGNS THAT FOLLOWED.” Mark 16:20 NASB (emphasis mine)
Let it be said of us that we have Jesus’ proof, they Preach the Gospel, and demonstrate God’s Power, for that is New Testament Christianity at its finest.