Matthew 11:3 “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?”
In 1991, the great Ray Charles polarized television ad campaigning with a catchy, unforgettable jingle. Having gone through several decades of war with the Coca Cola Company “teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony,” Pepsi needed something that was undeniably fresh and unquestionably theirs. Ray Charles took six words and changed us forever: “You Got the Right One, Baby!” And, in one unified voice, we all exclaimed, “Uh-huh!”
Such an emphatic cry was not heard in the prison of King Herod Antipas. After a short deliberation, Queen Herodias and her twerking daughter, Salome, agreed that they would ask for the beheading of John the Baptist. Salome “dropped it like it was hot” and they indicted and found John guilty of crimes of speaking against the king. He was immediately thrown in prison. This great evangelist and prophet was not only the forerunner of his time and cousin of Jesus the Christ, but he was also the one who baptized Jesus. After a lifetime of so many highs, John now found himself in the lowest of lows. The situation seemed impossible. There was no way out of this. He was going to die, and he needed to be reassured.
Isn’t it funny how life will sometimes make you question whether you made the right decision? Did I mess up by quitting the job? Marrying the spouse? Signing the deal? Giving the loan? John was for sure at one time in his life that nothing was greater than lacing the shoes of the Man he was now questioning. Life had given him spiritual amnesia. Life broke his will to hope, and he needed to send word to Jesus to reaffirm that everything he had done was not in vain. “Are you the One, or should we look for another?” Jesus’ answer surprised me. He didn’t exactly answer him with comfort or promise. He really couldn’t! Jesus knew that if he spoke directly to the fear, He would give credence to it. Instead, Jesus spoke to two places inside of John. He spoke to the hallways of his memory and He spoke to his faith. He told the messenger to go back to John and tell him what they had seen. He told them to give eye-witness accounts of what was happening, and if it aligned with what God said, then you have your answer. Then, after taking such a stance, He said “blessed is he that is not offended in me.” This was a strong rebuke for an imprisoned man!
But isn’t this the medicine that we need in our current climate? Don’t we need to be reminded of that which carried us all this time? Perhaps the closing of a few stores has caused your faith to feign. Maybe it has been the hurt of a broken heart, or the wound of a trusted advisor that caused you to see God in a different light. Take courage, my friend! The truth is found in the whimsical singing of Ray Charles: “you got the right one, baby!” God has never changed His mind about taking care of you! He has never metered His ability by what is in front of you, and He never counted you out by what is behind you! You are in the right place at the right time, to understand that you got the right one, baby! In this certainty, let your only reply be “UH-HUH!”