Lean into the Relationship
After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
- Matthew 11:1-3
John baptized Jesus. He actually baptized a lot of people. That’s how he got the nickname “John the Baptist.” And John had a community of disciples around him, much as Jesus did. They lived with him and learned from him.
What do you think it would be like to carry this question from John to Jesus?
John’s question smashes a lot of keys at once. He goads Jesus toward more decisive action. He expresses a glimmer of doubt about Jesus’ ability to deliver on their Messianic hopes. He calls out for help to keep a grip on his faith.
Perhaps the most important facet of John’s question is the way it leans into the relationship with Jesus. He doesn’t keep his question to himself, allowing it to smolder and burn up his insides. He sends his question to Jesus and trusts Jesus to respond appropriately.
John’s question takes place in community: in community with his disciples and in community with Jesus. This seems deeply appropriate for history’s most famous “Baptist.” In baptism we look to our community of faith and to our Savior. We publicly lean in and are received.
How does your experience of community shape the way you ask questions? What have you learned from your community about asking questions? What does your community seem to think makes for a great question?