I love my Truth Project group that meets on Sunday night. There is nothing like time to make the relationships in a small group richer. As the group gets more comfortable with each other, interaction seems more natural and easy. One of the great things is being able to learn from each other.
During our discussion someone brought up John the Baptist. Here is what he said. He discussed how at the end of John's life he was sitting in prison. John must have been in some kind of a faithless fog. It all started out so wonderfully. He was the Holy Spirit filled introducer of the Christ. He had heard the voice from heaven after baptizing Jesus say, "this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased". But John was not included in the twelve. His calling as a prophet kept him separate from Jesus and his disciples for some reason. John knew that he had to decrease while Jesus increased. But to disappear, to be forgotten, to end up in jail and ultimately beheaded at the whim of a dancing girl and her mother. Where was God in that cell? Where was the power of Jesus for him? And so John sends someone to ask "the question". Are you the one who was to come or should we look for someone else. It is almost like the painful circumstances of his life had squeezed out his faith. It seems that he had forgotten the powerful effect of his ministry that was a result of the power of God and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. It seems like he no longer could remember with confidence that he, himself, had heard the voice of God identify His Son. Circumstances have power to squeeze us in a way that diminishes our faith.
Jesus responds this way,
“Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”
John already knew about the miracles of Jesus. It seems that Jesus simply reminds him.
John is a lot like us. Our faith gets squeezed out of us when life gets hard. That is why we need to hold on to each other. Hebrews tells us to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. We need to sit in church and be reminded of what we already know is true but sometimes find hard to hold on to. We need sit around living rooms in our small groups and borrow each other’s faith from time to time. God shows up in a very subtle but real way when we get together. I love my Truth Project group.