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Spiritual Growth

Branded by Baptism Against Identity Theft (Part 3)

By Glory E. Dharmaraj

Editor’s note: Glory E. Dharmaraj, Ph.D., executive of the Women’s Division of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, looks at baptism in a four-part meditation during this Epiphany season. She turns to Theologian Kosuke Koyama for inspiration:

“With Jesus, the event of love comes first, then the explanation of it.”

A Query from the Prison Cell on Jesus’ Identity

The disciples of John reported all these things to him. So John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?”

When the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’”

Jesus had just then cured many people of diseases, plagues, and evil spirits, and had given sight to many who were blind. And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”
Luke 7:18-23

During moments of instability and change, our faith may flounder on key understandings of who we are and whose we are. From prison, John the Baptist sent a query to Jesus:

“Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?”

Standing for one’s conviction, life’s cruel turns of events and rapid change of circumstances may force us to make second guesses and ask questions.

John the Baptist asks if Jesus is the Messiah or if someone else is to come. John asks if Jesus is the one who will save the people from the Roman Empire.

Jesus does not give a straightforward response to John’s question. Jesus tells John’s disciples:

“Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me” (Luke 7:22-23).

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for accompanying us in our walk. Help us to listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance into a new creation, a new earth and a new heaven of open possibilities. May God’s fullness of life for us and for everyone be our guiding principle this year and all years to come. Amen.
 

*Glory Dharmaraj, Ph.D., is an executive of the Women’s Division of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries.

Last Updated: 04/16/2014
 
 

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