We read Galatians 4:4 earlier that said, “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman.” The fulfillment of the Scriptures and prophecies in the Old Testament are ready to be brought to life through the life and the ministry of the Messiah. Matthew 1:22-23 says, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel,’” which means God with us. Very simply put, because Jesus was fully human and fully God at the same time, He was able to feel what we humans feel, but being God, He was able to rise above all earthly things. Even Jesus endured the pain and suffering of temptations as we do today. He lives as our example of how to walk in peace and in perfect communion with the Father. Resisting temptation is something to aim for. He is also our Savior, for He knows how it actually feels to live this life in a fallen world.
Jesus’ relationship with John the Baptist is one of my favorite examples of Jesus’ great love for us. John, who was to proclaim the coming of the Messiah was imprisoned by Herod, and had been there for some time. The man who proclaimed in John 1:19, “Look, the Lamb of God takes away the sin of the world,” needed to feel reassured that Jesus was who he truly thought he was. John’s disciples asked Jesus a very specific question in Luke 7:20, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect somebody else?” Jesus’ reply may appear cryptic to us, but it reveals so much about Him. Jesus replied (Luke 7:22-23), “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard. The blind receive sight. The lame walk. Those who have leprosy are cured. The deaf hear. The dead are raised. And the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on a count of me.”
Jesus does not condemn John for his doubting. His heart, rather, understands that in John’s humanness and ongoing trials, God’s time had yet to be spoken. The same is very true still today. Have you ever questioned how or why a struggle would happen to you? Your struggles may cause you to separate from God’s love, but if you seek God in any moment of trial, you will deepen your understanding of faith. Knowing that God’s timing is not your timing is a truly redeeming sensation. Together, we walk by faith, one day at a time. Each day, more will be revealed… in God’s timing.
All that Jesus taught us in His glorious ministry had been written about in Isaiah 29:18-19, 35:5-6, 61:1-2, along with many others, nearly 700 years before His time. These prophecies can be a great foundation of knowledge for all of us. The greater you understand these Scriptures, the more you understand the meaning of Jesus and His ministry here on earth. Jesus came to preach the good news to the poor that there is hope, and there is life. We live in this hope, and are called to live it each and every day.