There’s a chorus we sing in church sometimes that goes like this:
There’s a miracle in the making
one for you, the Father is working even now.
Your prayers have been heard and the answer is on the way.
There’s a miracle in the making for you today.
It’s a nice little chorus but, if I want to tell the truth, I have to say I sometimes wonder about miracles. I know that the fact that I woke up and everything in my body is functioning the way it should is a miracle but, I’ve never seen a real life, big, miracle. When my Grandma got pancreatic cancer in 2001, I wanted a miracle. I was not ready to lose her, she was still pretty young by today’s standards. I prayed everyday in faith for that miracle and it never happened.
So on the days when I experience more doubt than faith the first section of the passage is of no help…or is it?
You see there are times in life where we are all going to feel disappointed with God. I like to think that in this passage, John was not simply sending his followers so they could see for themselves, as some suggest, but that he himself…the very forerunner of the Lord is experiencing doubt. He feels a bit disappointed, wouldn’t you if you had been thrown in Jail for doing what is right?
And that is where we find John, sitting in jail, and he wants to know if his whole life’s work has been for nothing. John might have been disappointed with what he had seen of this Messiah so far, perhaps he was feeling the let down of his expectations not being met.
We go through that too don’t we? Especially at Christmas time. We might feel the same questions arise in our minds as debt becomes the elephant in the room for many families, those who are living with less become more visible, and our own struggles seem even more pronounced at this times of year. Maybe you’ve felt a little more lonely at Christmas time, because as you go through the mall and watch happy families walking together, and you’ve just lost yours. Maybe you overhear someone talking about a great big bonus they have gotten at work and you just lost your job. Our struggles are many and Christmas as much as we hope, doesn’t erase them and we can be in dire need of a miracle.
So maybe this passage is meant to comfort us because even John asked those hard questions. Even John wondered if he had wasted his time with Jesus. Maybe one of the things this passage is meant to tell us, is that it is OK to ask our questions and Jesus himself will receive them and answer them.
The fact remains, that though he didn’t come in a way that we expected, Jesus did come as Immanuel God with us. The lame walk, the blind see, the dead live again. Maybe your miracle doesn’t look like that, but I believe if you are brave enough to ask God if he is really there, if this life is really worth it…then you will receive your answer and your sight!