Look No Further
Read This Week: Luke 7
When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’” – Luke 7:20 NIV
There is an old teaching that pain and uncertainty cannot be allowed to change our theology. Our various circumstances, no matter how difficult or arduous, do not have the power to negate the foundational truths about God and His purposes in the world. Yet, personal heartache, tragedy, and a drastic change in our lives can alter our perspectives even on things we had previously been certain of and believed for so long. This shift is called a moment of doubt.
One of the greatest examples of wrestling with doubt and fighting to maintain a grip on truth is in Luke 7. John the Baptist had been the forerunner of Jesus. He baptized him, preached His imminence, and called people to repent and come into the kingdom of God. He had seen the Messiah and watched as the heavens opened and God audibly pronounced His pleasure for His Son. The Bible even tells us that John leapt in the womb as an unborn child when he sensed the presence of Jesus. He believed and knew Christ was the One.
But now, John was in prison, and his situation had changed. He had been locked in a jail cell for months; the Jewish leaders were not helping him, his followers were not helping him, and it appeared Jesus was not helping him either. Anyone in his position would begin to question and even allow doubt to creep in.
The physical and emotional strain on John was intense, and when that happens, the spiritual perspective is impacted. That is why we see him struggling with his faith despite what he knows to be right about Jesus in verse 18 when he sends his disciples to ask the Lord a question: “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” Some translations say: shall we look for another?
This wrestling with doubt is common among the greatest of spiritual leaders, and it absolutely can be for us. When things get difficult it can open holes in our heart and mind that are susceptible to being filled with hesitation regarding the things we know to be true.
But doubt is not the same as unbelief. Doubt is more of an issue of the mind and asking why? Unbelief is of the will and refuses to believe God’s word and follow it. In this passage, John’s question of Jesus is not willful unbelief but was simply a moment of doubt brought on by suffering and trial, not unlike what we experience today. It was the temptation to look for another when the only one we need is right in front of us.
Jesus answers the disciples of John the way He answers us when we question. He pointed them and us toward the evidence of His power, goodness, love, and grace. He says in verse 22:
Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: 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. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
Essentially, Jesus takes John back to the foundations of his faith. He reminded the Baptist of who He was. He affirmed that the principles of truth and the evidence of His glory were real and trustworthy. Jesus wanted John to know that His will, character, and purposes are eternal and true even when bad things happen. The Lord communicated that doubt doesn’t equal no faith, and it certainly doesn’t change one thing about God.
When Jesus said to John’s disciples, “Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me,” He was saying, look no further. He was saying I am the One; you can trust me. He is saying to them and us, I am who you are searching for. Hold on and look no further than Me in the midst of your doubts. I will get you through.
Thank you, Jason, for sharing what you shared! It was awesome!
Thank you, Heidi! It is a joy and pleasure to share and to learn from you all.
Have you ever doubted, let fear get a grip on you, ever felt uncertain at times, well I see John the Baptist did. It’s so easy when you’re in a place when you’re not sure why you’re going through what you’re going through. But God does know. Our help comes from Him, and even when your situations don’t work out how you think they should, we can count on Father God to help us through it, Give us peace, and comfort, it comes from trusting Him and knowing He is with us.
Psalm 139 is one of my favorites because King David had a revelation that God is Omnipresence
So we can be encourage to know that Father God is with us always, all you have to do is talk to Him, seek Him with our whole heart! Thank you Father God for Your Love.
O Lord, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up [my entire life, everything I do];
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And You are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue [still unspoken],
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And [You have] placed Your hand upon me.
Such [infinite] knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high [above me], I cannot reach it.
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead), behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will take hold of me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me,
And the night will be the only light around me,”
Even the darkness is not dark to You and conceals nothing from You,
But the night shines as bright as the day;
Darkness and light are alike to You.
For You formed my innermost parts;
You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was being formed in secret,
And intricately and skillfully formed [as if embroidered with many colors] in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were appointed for me,
When as yet there was not one of them [even taking shape].
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I could count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.
Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
This is so good, Heidi. I love these lines: Our help comes from Him, and even when your situations don’t work out how we think they should. We can count on Father God to help us through it and give us the peace, and comfort that comes from trusting Him and knowing He is with us.
It is powerful and empowering to know that we serve a God that is bigger than our expectations and who has the eternal supremacy and goodness to steer us along the right path even when things seemingly don’t work out. Yet, they do for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
I also appreciate you quoting Psalm 139. I could read that every day and it would still feed my soul and encourage my heart about who God is and how He relates to me.
This Week in the Life: Luke 7
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This week, God gave me a song from Luke 7 called “Building a Foundation”:
We are building a foundation with our Lord
Building a foundation with our Lord
Being renewed, restored, trusting and having faith in our Lord
Our foundation gets stronger each and every day
Our Lord never changes and he never lets us down
Life can be like Heaven on Earth if we have a relationship and faith in our Lord
Trusting with our hearts, being renewed, restored and loving each other
Building a foundation with our Lord
We are building a foundation with our Lord. Amen.
Thank you, Lord. I feel blessed because I get to build a relationship with you. Once I was lost now I have you. Trusting you with my heart.
I love this, Alma. A solid foundation rooted and grounded in the word of God and His truth is the essential key to living a victorious and successful Christian life. Our relationship with Him is a firm foundation and we can always rely on His truth and love for all situations on our journeys.
I was moved by the way you ended your post and the joy and thankfulness you expressed in your salvation and the relationship you enjoy with our Lord.
This was what I got from Luke 7. You can come to Jesus directly, even when you are unworthy. He will not turn you away. The Centurion showed great faith in this chapter and he knew Jesus could heal with His word, and he showed great faith in His word. Jesus will give you hope, despite the tragedy of situations you are in. Throughout the Bible, Jesus’s power was displayed mostly in humble acts of service, and he wants His power in you to also be displayed in that way, meeting individual needs of those you come across.
My Son wants to help you and rescue you from guilt, shame, and the power and penalty of your sin. I want you to be a messenger for Me, leading others to repent, and by preparing the way for Jesus, in other peoples lives. Worship Him, pray to Him, and teach for Him. The more you are forgiven, the more you should love. Jesus’s love for you, cancels your past.
Why is it so hard for you to believe you have been forgiven? The key to forgiveness is your faith. Faith enables you to take the grace I give you. Forgiveness is ready from Me. Your part is to come with humility and loving submission to Jesus, and to receive the forgiveness He offers by faith. He will raise you up, and give you peace. Your sins are forgiven, forever.
What this said to me is Jesus wants me to come to Him directly. No matter what situation I am in, He will give me hope. I am to have faith that He has forgiven me, and he will use me as a messenger for Him. My past needs to stay in the past, and not hold me back.
This post is so rich and deep on many levels, Kathy. You started it with such a hopeful truth: You can come to Jesus directly, even when you are unworthy. He will not turn you away. I am so thankful for the access we have to God through Jesus Christ. Not only can we come to Him but He encourages us to do so boldly. That is quite the exhortation for us as sinners to approach a holy God but it is true.
I believe this truth and promise sync with your later assertion of forgiveness. If we understand and know that we can approach God through Christ no matter what, then we will understand that we do so simply because we’ve been forgiven.
God gave me this from Luke 7 verse 47:
The few little problems you have, I see you
Keep on trusting and hanging on to your faith.
I have wonderful things in store for you.
What that means to me is that we are his treasures. We just need to keep having faith and trust in our father God in everything that we do!
I really appreciate this word, Jeri. I am sure I speak for everyone who has read or will read this that we all need to be reminded that our Father sees and knows us. He is acutely aware of our lives, problems, and challenges. He also has great plans for us because as you said, we are His treasure.