Daily D – Matthew 11:4-6
Matthew 11:4-6 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 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.” (NIV)
There is a significant difference between aimless wandering and walking with purpose. Each is good in the right context. The inability to do either in Jesus’ day created unrelieved dependency and inescapable vulnerability. Healing those who could not walk provided amplified lives.
Consider all the Bible verses related to walking, running, the path, the road, and the highway. I have been highlighting these verses in blue in each of the Bible translations I have read for the last several years. The Bible talks about our purpose or mission as a path and a pilgrimage.
A friend of mine who led wilderness adventures for years calls the journey of discipleship an expedition. She talks about what we think we need to take on such an adventure versus what is actually essential. Here in this beautiful retreat center in Washington near the Canadian border, there are miles of breathtaking trails. Breathtaking is both literal and figurative in this case.
Someone brought two sets of hiking shoes. One set is waterproof. As you probably know, it rains a lot up here. The other set of hiking shoes rises above the ankle to provide support. Since a mountain lion has been spotted on the trail this particular hiker enjoys so much, neither pair of hiking shoes is necessary. They merely add weight and bulk to my, his, baggage.
The occasion for today’s text is a question from John the Baptist after he had been arrested.
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?”
verses 2 and 3
Instead of a philosophical discussion or a theological treatise, Jesus responded with living proof in the lives of others. John had preached about the necessity of life change. Jesus preached (Luke 4:14-27) about his mission of good news demonstrated in part by healing grace. What John and Jesus had declared was coming true in an ever-spreading arc of great good news.
People who lived without purpose and possibility found both in the healing hands of Jesus.
What’s your purpose? What are your opportunities?
By God’s grace, in his strength, following his leadership, your possibilities are more abundant than you can imagine. You can live a life worth highlighting. Those highlights will show others the better way. You will lead adventures and open pathways. You might even face down a mountain lion. Take a giant can of bear spray just in case.
I will lean into today’s adventures as Jesus leads the way.
Our Father, what is your purpose and plan for this day? What will we see? What will you invite us to join you in accomplishing? Put your thoughts in our minds, your words in our mouths, your strength in our bodies, and your joy in our hearts. May we lie down tonight with delight even before we dream. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.
Psalm 52:8, 9 ”But I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God; I trust in God’s faithful love forever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done. In the presence of your faithful people, I will put my hope in your name, for it is good.“