2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”Matthew 11:2-6
While studying the book of Matthew, I was struck by the author of the commentary’s emphasis on Christ’s compassion and understanding toward John the Baptist in answering his need for reassurance in the verses above. I am afraid that I always read this Scripture with an entirely different take on Christ’s response. I had read frustration with John into the words of Jesus, with the subtext of, “Don’t you remember when the Holy Spirit came down when you baptized me and we heard God clearly say I am His beloved Son?”
I must confess to having a wide streak of snideness in my nature. It would have been completely in my character to respond to John’s need for reassurance in an exasperated or condescending way. I’m not proud of this, and I recognize it as one of my many failings. I’m working on it.
But my great shock was to see that I had subconsciously imbued the Lord with my attitude. I was guilty of seeing Christ in my own flawed image.
So God created mankind in his own image,Genesis 1:27
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
We are told that many believers struggle with seeing God the Father through the lens of their earthly parent, especially when that parent was less than ideal. I had never considered that this same sort of distortion could infect our image of Christ.
17 So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away—look, what is new has come![2 Corinthians 5:17
This personal revelation is inspiring me to look more deeply into the nature of Christ, as revealed in the Scriptures, in order to suss out any other skewed ideas I may have.
As we are to be imitators of Christ, it is important to see Him clearly.
1 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.1 Corinthians 11:1