The Feast Day of St John the Baptist
24th of June every year has been marked out in the Christian Year Calendar to remember the life and ministry of St. John the Baptist and lessons thereof.
John the Baptist was born by Elizabeth, his father’s name is Zacharia. He was born through a prophecy by Angel Gabriel, He was born to prepare the people for the coming of Jesus Christ. He was a man who rebuke injustice and evil and called the people into repentance through preaching the word, signs and wonders and baptism.
In this year Feast Day, I want us to consider the question of John the Baptist to Jesus Christ:
John the Baptist, who was now in prison, heard about all the miracles the Messiah was doing, so he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you really the one we are waiting for, or shall we keep on looking?”(Matthew 11:2-3|LIVING-
John was imprisoned by Herod when he preached against him marrying Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife (Mark 6:17-18). So while he was in prison, he began to think towards the validity or otherwise of his proclamation of Jesus Christ as the coming Messiah, because the expectation everyone has for the coming Messiah was one who will set them free from the tyranny of the Roman authority but Jesus busy about doing miracles seems to fail below the expectation of the people; John through his thinking thought that he must have made a mistake in his introduction of Jesus as Messiah but instead of dying with that thought, he sent out two of his disciples to take this critical question to Jesus Christ, “are You really the Messiah or should we wait for another?” Let us listen to Jesus response to that.
Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him about the miracles you’ve seen me do– the blind people I’ve healed, and the lame people now walking without help, and the cured lepers, and the deaf who hear, and the dead raised to life; and tell him about my preaching the Good News to the poor. Then give him this message, ‘Blessed are those who don’t doubt me.’ ”(Matthew 11:4-6|LIVING-
One of the key factor that made Christ response more convincing was the fact that He demonstrated His response before the very eyes of disciples of John and told them to go tell John what they have heard and seen. He also sent a message of faith and hope to John so that devil through the spirit of doubt will not lead him to hell. Many today would have still be left in doubt and expectation of another Messiah but through the question of St. John the Baptist and Jesus response and demonstrations we know that the Messiah is already here with us.
Jesus response was well received and John’s faith was strengthen that Christ is the Messiah. Don’t insist on signs to know that God is with us, don’t turn the Holy Spirit to an area boy who must always fight and kill your enemies, St. John the Baptist never called on Jesus Christ to lead a protest to Herod palace to break him out of prison but through a question which response reassured him that his task on earth has been fulfilled.
John the Baptist was beheaded and today we remember him for his courage to stand against injustice and demonstrating faith in the ministry of Jesus Christ of whose way he came to prepare.
Almighty and eternal God, thank You for this blessed day which we remember Your faithful servant John the Baptist, thank You for through him, our heart and mind has been reassured of Jesus Christ as the Messiah of which you spoke of in the old. We pray for those whose faith in Christ is wavering, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, You will reassure them of the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who is alive and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit one God forever and ever. Amen.