Jesus once said that of all the people born of women, John the Baptist was the greatest. In Matthew 11, we find John in prison.He sends a couple of disciples to Jesus and asks, “Are you the one, or do we look for another?” I think at this point in the story we often miss the point. We focus on this as though the main issue is John having doubt. We focus on Jesus saying, “Look at the miracles I have performed.” But John already knew that Jesus was healing people.
The point is Matt. 11:6 where Jesus tells the messengers, Tell John, ‘Blessed is the one who is not offended because of me.’ Jesus says, “I have the ability to perform miracles. I could resolve your situation and get you out of prison, but I am not going to.” It is not going to end well as far as this world is concerned.
We live in a day of “prosperity gospel”. We think, “Follow Jesus, live in suburbia, drive nice cars, grow a large bank account, retire and be happy.” But sometimes following Jesus is costly. It cost John the Baptist his life. A few chapters later, he is beheaded at the whim of a stripper who has please Herod, in this case his step-daughter.
Throughout history many have given their lives for Jesus. There are more martyrs around the world for Christ today than in any previous time. There is no promise of prosperity with the Gospel. Jesus said, “Foxes have holes, birds have nests, the son of man has no where to lay his head.” The context was when someone volunteered to follow him. Jesus was saying, “There are no guarantees of a prosperous life.”
Will you follow Jesus, knowing you must take up your cross? Will you follow Him, no matter the cost?”