Sitting in prison, John the Baptizer heard all about Jesus’ ministry. He sent some of his followers to Jesus to ask a question: “Are you the One we have been expecting – or should we look for somebody else?”
John had heard about all the wonderful things that Jesus was doing. And he knew that those miracles were evidence that Jesus really had come from God. But here’s what John couldn’t understand: “If Jesus is the One we’ve been waiting for – why am I still in prison?”
It’s a good question – and one that deserves an answer.
When John’s followers show up, Jesus points to all that He is doing – and He says, “Go tell John what’s happening here. Go tell John what you see. Go tell John.”
It’s one thing to believe that Jesus is the One who has come from God. It is another thing altogether to figure out what that means for us here and now.
But let’s remember that this Lord is Lord of everything – He is even Lord of the things in our own lives that we don’t understand.
In light of that, our task – especially at Christmas – is to keep our focus in the right place. Our task – especially at Christmas – is to keep our focus – not on our confused and troubled lives – but on this One named Jesus.
It had been a delightful children’s Christmas program. The candles had been lit, the songs had been sung, and the shepherds had come to peek at the Baby. The wise men had brought their gifts and the angels had sung their praise. Now that the program was over, the entire cast of the Christmas story began to leave – wise men, shepherds, and angels.
Only Mary, Joseph, and the Child remain. Then, Joseph turns to go. Mary begins to follow – but, then, glances back. She stops, turns around, and walks back to the manger. She snatches up the baby doll by the foot, clutches it under her arm, and walks out.
And that final scene says so much: The little girl who has played Mary almost forgets to take the Baby. She almost forgets – but remembers at the last moment.
Today – especially today – let’s keep our focus on that Baby in the manger.