LESSONS FROM JOHN’S QUESTION IN TODAY’S GOSPEL

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GALDATE SUNDAY – LESSONS FROM JOHN’S QUESTION IN TODAY’S GOSPEL (Matthew 11: 2-11)

Introduction:

Today, the mother Church gave a breathing space within the Advent for her members to rejoice, hence, the reason she called today the Galdate Sunday meaning Rejoicing Sunday.

The mother church giving us this break to rejoice only today is a significant that we have been mourning and grieving since advent began.

In today’s gospel, John the Baptist sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus this striking question; “Are you truly the Messiah or are we to expect another?”

REASON FOR THE QUESTION

John like many other people in his time has this expectation of our Lord – The Conquering Messiah – who will deal with the level of injustice that kept him in the prison. Every average Jews had the expectation that Jesus will restore the Kingdom and give it back to the Jews, this was the reason the Apostles in Acts 1:5 – asked him after his resurrection, just days before his ascension; “Lord, will you at this point restore the Kingdom back to Israel?”, the prophecy of the prophets about Jesus described this restoration. If you remember, the Jews at that time were under the power and control of the Romans which Emperor Caesar was overseeing. The Jews read it in the book of the prophets that the Messiah will come, he will crush the oppressors, restore justice and rule with iron sceptre, but the dimension Jesus took the prophecy seemed to be opposite of what was prophesied. This gave rise to the question John asked in today’s gospel; “Are you truly the Messiah?”.

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“Jesus’s silence on John’s case is still a puzzle in many people’s minds.”

On the prophetic tradition of the Scriptures, the Jews were short of understanding the prophecy, hence, the reason for misunderstanding the prophecies. The lesson to draw from this is that;

1. Understanding prophecy from God is like attempting to understand the bible. If you must understand a prophecy, you must understand the Scripture from the point of;

a. Literal interpretation (common meaning)

b. Moral interpretation (spiritual)

c. Analogical interpretation (future)

d. Anabogical interpretation (mystical interpretation).

Any vacuum in the knowledge of the four interpretations above will put you in a confused state about prophecy, hence, the reason for the confusion of the Jews who took the prophecy verbatim.

2. Every human being has a spark of God’s image *(Imago Dei),* therefore, if we allow ourselves to hear from God by our constant being in His presence, we won’t be confused by prophecies. The Jews never allowed the voice of God to be heard in their lives, they limited their understanding only on the literal meaning of the prophecies, hence, the reason for being in opposite term with Jesus. Till today, they are still expecting the coming of the saviour.

3. God can change his mind after prophecy. There were certain prophecies made by the prophets in the Scriptures that did not happen as was prophesied. God does not reserve apology to change his mind. He did so for certain reasons, all for our own good. When He sent Jonah to announce the destruction of Nineveh, He did the opposite to preserve His creation.

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4.God does not show details of a message and prophecy is not immediacy sometimes. In the course of waiting, we might forget even the little clue we have when it was given. The danger of this is that in that waiting, we might be frustrated out of the our destiny, and the end point is saying that the message was a false or fake one. The destiny of Israel was to be in Canaan land in 40 days, that prophecy was thwarted and the journey lasted 40 years. Many who couldn’t hold on died during the journey, the Israelites finally entered the Canaan land fulfilling what was prophesied. The joy of a prophecy is in the unwavering waiting.

Conclusion:

It is important in the journey of life to have sometime to reconfirm prophecies. As we live out our calling on earth, sometimes, take out moment to reflect on the promises of God over our lives. An advantage of this is setting someone continually on the path of conscious living.

Peace be with you!!