John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen — the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.”
Matthew 11:2-5 (NIV)
I am convinced one of the most impactful ways to extend more of the kingdom of heaven to earth is to offer quality healthcare to all. Based on how much of His life He dedicated to healing people, it seems like Jesus would agree.
This is particularly true in this critical Matthew 11 passage. It’s a moment of crisis. John is in prison. He is willing to give his life (which he ultimately does) for his long-awaited Messiah, but he wants to be certain that Jesus is that Messiah, and so he sends his disciples to Jesus seeking confirmation. What is the confirmation Jesus sends back? Is it some deep, doctrinal statement? No, it’s a message to just go and tell what they have heard and seen of Jesus healing people and proclaiming good news to the poor.
None of this was news to John. He was already hearing about “all the things” Jesus was doing. If Jesus was out to save the world (which He was!), couldn’t He have spent His time more strategically than just healing a bunch of people? Evidently not.
What are “all the things” we are doing? If they don’t include touching the lives of others, bringing healing into their lives, and perhaps even putting our own lives at risk in so doing, then they likely fall short of what Jesus calls us to when He bids us to follow Him.
This is the first in the “Ensure Quality Healthcare” series of blog posts on our Journey to Palpable Kingdom Presence.