5 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

Genesis 12
Matthew 11
Nehemiah 1
Acts 11

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

“Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one greater than John the Baptist has appeared, but the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
Matthew 11:11 (CSB)

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Too many people feel powerless. They feel as if the world is an ocean and they are an insignificant drop of water in that immense ocean. They can relate to George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life” who felt as if his life really didn’t matter.

However, the contrary is true. You, and every single person you meet today, has incredible value! But we periodically need to remind others of their value. We also need to be reminded of our own value by others. That happens through the activity of encouragement.

When we read Matthew 11:2-3, we observe that John the Baptist was in prison. Before John was thrown into prison, he had seen Jesus and proclaimed loudly: “… ‘Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I told you about: “After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me, because he existed before me.” ‘ ” (John 1:29-30).

But when we arrive back in Matthew 11, John’s life had been turned upside down. He was in prison, facing death, and I believe that he was discouraged.

Matthew 11:2-3 (CSB): “Now when John heard in prison what the Christ was doing, he sent a message through his disciples and asked him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?'”

John knew that Jesus was the Messiah, “the one who is to come.” Yet, in his discouragement, he needed assurances. His inner faith was faltering and he needed to hear some audible words of affirmation. He needed encouragement.

In Matthew 11:4-6, we realize that John’s disciples had already asked Jesus this question.

But after Jesus gave the answer to their question, He did something special next. As the disciples turned around to leave, Jesus started to say some wonderfully encouraging things about John. He knew that John’s disciples would hear Him and He wanted them to encourage John. One of the powerful things that Jesus said was:

Matthew 11:11 (CSB): “Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one greater than John the Baptist has appeared…”

Imagine how John felt when his disciples arrived back at his prison, told him of Jesus’ answer, and then shared all of the encouraging words that Jesus had said about John to the crowd. Imagine that you can see a hint of a smile form on John’s face, something that hadn’t been visible for a while.

Friend, you have the ability to encourage someone (honestly, a LOT of people) today. You have the ability to put a smile on someone’s face, maybe someone who hasn’t smiled in quite some time. Recognize the power of your words and be used by Jesus to brighten someone’s day today.

Who knows, maybe someone will do the same for you.

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, thank You for demonstrating what a Christian life is to look like. I am reminded today that while I love encouraging words, so does everyone else around me. So, today, I’m restfully available to You. Help me to see the opportunities around me to encourage others today … and use them. Amen.

Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash