Todays readings.. 2 Kings 21, Ezekiel 11, Luke 7
As usual, all our chapters are full of meaningful lessons: first, Hezekiah after his life is extended 15 years is succeeded by a 12 yr old son, Manasseh who turns out to be a very bad king. We wonder about the role of Hephzibah, his mother in this. The spirituality of the person we marry is very important. Hephzibah’s name is apparently of Phoenician origin, meaning, ‘delight of Baal.’
Again the spirit takes Ezekiel to Jerusalem and gives him insight into God’s reaction; this arises from his awareness of the minds of those living there. God always has such knowledge! How awesome when we contemplate and meditate on this! Ezekiel learns, “But as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, I will bring their deeds upon their own heads, declares the Lord GOD.” [Ch. 11 v.21] What will soon happen in our days!?
In Luke (Ch. 7) we read how messengers come to Jesus from John the Baptist. Our Lord has been doing many remarkable miracles, but when he brings to life again a young man who is being carried out to his burial, “fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has arisen among us!’ and ‘God has visited his people!’ And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.
John’s disciples reported these things to him. And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to Jesus, saying, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” [v.16-19]
The way Jesus answers him is instructive – and challenging! John evidently had certain expectations of the Messiah’s work – and what was happening did not fit these. We look back at ch. 4 and see how Jesus quoted from a scroll of Isaiah when in the Synagogue, v.17-19.
How challenging to John (and others) is the way Jesus responds to these messengers, “”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 one who is not offended by me.” [v.22-23]
He is telling John to check out and “believe all that the prophets have spoken”! These are the words of Jesus we will read in ch. 24 v.25, when, after his resurrection he speaks to 2 disciples on the road to Emmaus. This is a lesson for us as we anticipate the return of our Lord and our expectations are increasing!
We must take a lesson from the quandary of John the Baptist and look to “all that the prophets” have written! Are they not like pieces of a jigsaw! We have more and more pieces that seem to fit, but there are still others we are not sure about: events yet to come, maybe very soon, will make the picture clearer and clearer.