This is really an astonishing question that John The Baptist gives to his followers to ask Jesus. He is now in prison because he challenged Herod on his marriage to his brother’s wife Herodias. He, in reality, knows that this could be the end of his life. He had spent his whole ministry preparing the way for the coming of the Messiah. He spoke about Jesus as the promised one. He called him “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” He was as moved as the rest of the people at the Baptism of Jesus when the vision appeared. Now he is puzzled, because like many waiting for the Messiah, a time of restoration and peace. A warrior, a commander, coming to lay the axe to the roots of unproductive trees and cutting them down as John indicated in last Sunday’s reading. John probably expected Jesus to take away the sins of the world in one clean sweep, in one huge, fierce military battle. A new world order would then come suddenly, permanently, almost automatically. Here in Jail John sent his friends to Jesus with his question and it may well be our question also.
How often when we look around the world do we secretly ask—Where is God’s Kingdom?” The message Jesus sends to John and to us is about the healing, the transformation, and the power of the Gospel given to the poor they have seen. The power of Christ’s coming is not found in the sound and fury of battle but in the changes within human hearts and lives. The power of Christ’s coming is shown in his entry into human lives to dwell there as a source of strength, faith and redemption. The real miracles of the messiah occur every day within human hearts. The real power of Christmas is manifested on the inside rather than the outside. The inner change that Jesus came to bring about in the human soul is the necessary condition for any abiding change in our world. A corrupt heart will corrupt anything it touches. A healed heart can heal its environment.
Let the Messiah change your world, your life and your soul.