In Matthew 11, we read that John the Baptist was thrown into prison. Jesus sent him a pretty candid message. In summary, Jesus reminded John that He (Jesus) was Christ and His (Jesus) ministry was valid. He went on by encouraging John to persevere. (You can read the whole response in Matthew 11:1-6.) Can you imagine what he must have been thinking? I’m sure it brought little if any comfort to John, in the light of his situation, and probably seemed a little self absorbed and cold hearted.
However, as soon as he received the message, Jesus started talking about John to the crowd and John didn’t hear any of it. Jesus shared all kinds of terrific things about him behind his back. He even refers to him as being the greatest man ever born of a woman. Pretty big complement coming from the Son of God.
Just know that none of those things Jesus said ever reached the ears of John the Baptist. Why? Because Jesus didn’t intend for John to hear them. I wonder if John found out when he entered into eternity? I wonder if he asked the question, “Why didn’t you say that to me in the message you sent Jesus? Why did you just send word to me about your calling when I needed to be reaffirmed of mine? It would have been nice to know how much you loved and valued me while I was in prison.”
Well, it’s probably because Jesus wanted John to place his confidence in the character of God rather than the affirmations sent by a human messenger.
Are you in a similar spot today? Has it been a long time since anyone told you: “Good job. I’m proud of you. You’re making a difference.”
Maybe Jesus is talking about you and you just don’t know it. Maybe He’s proud of you too. Maybe He sees potential in you. Maybe He is using you in ways you could never imagine for purposes that will far outlive you.
Stay faithful. Even when it doesn’t seem like God is speaking to you.
There will come a day when all of your labor in the Lord will be rewarded openly.
IT’S NOT IN VAIN.