LUKE 7:22-23 - AND HE ANSWERED THEM,"GO AND TELL JOHN WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN AND HEARD: THE BLIND RECEIVE THEIR SIGHT, THE LAME WALK, LEPERS ARE CLEANSED, AND THE DEAF HEAR; THE DEAD ARE RAISED UP, THE POOR HAVE GOOD NEWS PREACHED TO THEM. AND BLESSED IS THE MAN WHO IS NOT OFFENDED BY ME.
THE DISCIPLES OF JOHN CAME TO JESUS WANTING ANSWERS FOR JOHN ON WHETHER OR NOT HE WAS THE ONE TO COME. IT JUST SO HAPPENED THAT WHEN THEY ARRIVED HE WAS PERFORMING THE MIRACLES THAT HE PROCLAIMED HE WOULD DO EARLIER IN CHAPTER 4, WHICH WAS PROPHESIED IN ISAIAH 61. JESUS DIDN'T HAVE TO SELL HIMSELF OR JUSTIFY HIMSELF OR CONVINCE THE DISCIPLES OF HIS IDENTITY. THEY WITNESSED THE MIRACLES AND JESUS SIMPLY SAID "GO AND TELL JOHN WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN". HE IS THE ONE TO COME AND HE IS DOING THE WILL OF GOD BUT IT MAY NOT HAVE BEEN WHAT JOHN THOUGHT IT WOULD LOOK LIKE. HE MAY HAVE BEEN WONDERING WHEN HE WAS GOING TO SET HIM FREE FROM PRISON, BECAUSE THE PROPHECY STATES THAT HE WOULD SET THE CAPTIVES FREE. HE DID SET THEM FREE AND GOD'S WILL FOR JOHN WAS TO BE WHERE HE WAS. IT ALSO STUCK OUT TO ME THAT WHEN WE ARE BEING SAVED BY JESUS, WE BEGIN TO SEE, WALK, WE ARE CLEANSED, WE HEAR, AND WE ARE RAISED UP BECAUSE WE HEARD THE GOOD NEWS THAT WAS PREACHED TO US BY THE SPIRIT. AND BLESSED ARE WE WHO ARE NOT OFFENDED BY HIM WHO WORKS WITHIN US.
1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 – “For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.”
When I first read this verse, years ago, I thought Paul was just being poetic. I completely overlooked important words like “chosen” and “Holy Spirit” and “conviction”. But as God has grown my understanding for Him and my desire to be closer like Him, I have begun reading the Bible with different eyes. 1 Thessalonians was not on my daily reading today, but I felt compelled to read it. And as I read this verse, I was amazed at how possible it actually is to be completely transformed by God when we hear His gospel and accept it. The Holy Spirit really can radically save and give power and conviction. It doesn’t always have to be a struggle with accepting Him (like Jacob the night he became Israel). I know this is possible because I have seen my husband’s walk with the Lord. It took a while for me to humble myself and accept that he is sold out for the Lord. And it took even longer to accept that I was the one who struggled with God. But watching Nick’s walk and seeing his loyalty and faithfulness to God, I have been encouraged to let go of the struggle and just accept because IT IS possible. And v6 says …”with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all believers…”. Nick really has set an example of true surrender to the Lord. And as I humble myself and see him for who he truly is (a man of God), I step into the role of submission and respect to him as God has designed.