One of the characters in the book of Matthew that I gravitate toward is John the Baptist. Crowds flocked to this influential preacher and teacher whose sole mission was to point the way to Jesus.
In Matthew 11, we find John in prison. Later on, we come to find out that he was imprisoned for speaking out against the illegal marriage of Herod the Tetrarch. John followed God’s calling on his life and ended up in a dark, lonely place. As he sat in prison, he heard stories of the ministry of Jesus – the lives that were changed and the miracles that were performed. I can only assume the questions on John’s mind.
What about me? Where is my miracle? Here I am, being obedient to God and following his calling and her I am, suffering in this prison. Where are you?
These are questions that every serious minded Christ followers wrestles with at some point. It is a guarantee we will find ourselves led by Jesus to place we did not intend to go.
Peter is another biblical character who was called to a life of suffering. At the end of the book of John, Jesus says these words to Peter: “… When you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not wish to go.” In essence, Jesus was telling Peter that there would come a time when following him would lead Peter to a place he did not want or expect.
The ultimate question for the follower of Jesus is this:
“Are you willing to trust, obey, and follow Jesus even when it doesn’t make sense?”
This week, I’m considering my own willingness to follow Christ when to do so brings me to a place I didn’t expect.
-Andrew Brownback, Adult Ministries Pastor