Slow Change – Week 2
These questions are meant to be a choose-your-own-adventure. That is, use what you like. Skip what you don’t. And add to it in any way you see fit.
- On a scale of 1 to 100, how patient are you? (1 = a centimeter-long fuse; 100 = inhuman ability) . How’s that working out for you?
- What’s something that you really want that would be worth waiting for?
Are You the One?
Read Matthew 11.2-3
2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
There are two things going on here.
- First of all – this is John the Baptist – Jesus’ cousin, the guy charged with preparing the way ahead of Jesus, the very one who baptized Jesus himself – and he finds himself in jail for something he did out of obedience to God. It’s safe to assume this is not how he hoped things would turn out. When have you experienced something similar (good or bad) when things did not turn out as expected?
- Second of all – John is asking Jesus – “Are you the one?” Jesus is not (apparently) who John expected him to be. John knew he was the opening act for the Messiah. He’s just not sure Jesus is behaving like one. What surprises or confuses you about Jesus?
Go Back and Report
Read Matthew 11.4-6
4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
- Look closely at what Jesus is saying. Perhaps read verse 5 again. What is your reaction to this list that Jesus gives?
- Jesus is telling John…” This is what the Messiah looks like. I might not be what you’re hoping for or what you’re waiting for but trust me.” Trusting Jesus is not always the most natural or easiest thing to do. Even so, when have you learned to trust Jesus? What was the situation? How did that play out?
Be Strong and Take Heart
Read Psalm 21.13-14
13 I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
- In what situations are you waiting on the Lord? In other words, where do you need to see God work in your life?
- Paul uses a strange phrase in Romans – “hope does not put us to shame.” Another way to look at that might be to say – “hope is almost too good to be true.” And yet, it’s not. It’s promised to us through Jesus. How have you found life with Jesus to give you hope?