And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. — Matthew 4:23, ESV
Don’t you wish you could have been there? To witness Jesus doing the miraculous, healing every single person who was afflicted with whatever affliction they had. And crowds were showing up from anywhere and everywhere. And wouldn’t you? I would be there in a heartbeat. Even if I wasn’t sick, I would bring someone who was. And if I didn’t know someone, I’d go just to see the show.
But there was one person who couldn’t go. This one person, who was the one preparing the way of the Messiah, could not be part of that miraculous moment on the mountain side.
John. The baptist whom everyone had come to know and love deeply couldn’t be there because of the fact that John had been arrested (Matthew 4:12). And why was he arrested? Because he spoke against that which was not right in God’s eyes, calling the king and queen out on their sin.
So while Jesus was off healing the world, he left his cousin behind bars. While he helped everyone else, there was one left in his own literal prison. And if you know the end of the story, it ends with John being executed in that same prison.
What about me? is one of the main questions that haunts us when we see God working in “bless-filled” ways while we seem to be overlooked. The trials that we face and the prisons that we endure could be toppled over and broken down, but nothing. Nothing changes. Nothing happens.
“If I just have more faith and pray longer” is what we jump to, but is prayer about us changing God’s mind or God changing our minds to get in line with his? And of course we should keep praying, but how do we pray through this? It might be asking God to give us a peak at our current situations from a different view.
The thing is this: every one of us who follow Christ have been called to a specific kingdom-focused purpose. That purpose will take all of us in so many different directions, facing different situations and experiencing different trials and difficulties. But in wherever we go and in whatever we face, know and believe this: JESUS KNOWS. He had heard that John the Baptist was in prison. He was not unaware of the fact. And he knew that in that prison John the Baptist would have his own doubts about his faith. He knew all of this.
JESUS KNOWS! Pray. Listen. Ask to see from God’s perspective so that you might have a glimpse into the working of the miraculous that God is performing. He is not unaware of your trial. He is not less compassionate toward you than toward those who are being “freed” and “healed.” And if you look at Scripture, it’s usually the difficult situations that usher in the perfect view to see God do the miraculous. “But John didn’t get released.” Or did he? For his last moment in that prison ushered him into his first view of Glory.