Matthew 11:2-6 (NKJV) 2 And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples 3 and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
4 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: 5 The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
What is the validation of who is really representing the life and the heart of God? Is it a most convincing message given through a charming charismatic personality with the latest supporting technology and cast? There were two elements to Jesus’ response of validation – power and consecration. There was no mention of how people were feeling good about themselves and applying His principles to be personally successful. Jesus gave a glimpse into how He wanted to be seen and known – by the unprecedented power that continually confirmed His claims of identity.
The world presents a culture that is always demanding compliance with its standards in order to have a hope of a bended ear. To have a chance at impressing enough to maintain attention for even a few moments, it has its own expectations that must be met according to pre-conditioned specifications. After all, ways to personal development and gratification have already come from the world at high levels of excellence. If it’s about the sparkle and the shine, the competition is pretty steep. In order to convince anyone that we are actually the sons and daughters of God, there is a lot of culture-complying work to do – or not.
Jesus surely did not lack in excellence and was known for His engaging teaching to a surrounding culture that was in need of His message. When it came down to what really defined Him, however, what He saw as the difference between who He was and just another charismatic voice, was those who were transformed by the power that flowed through Him. This was something the culture had no response for. To heal all diseases and bring the poor out of poverty with His truth were things that set Him on a level the world would never rise to. It was this validation that would open doors to the message of complete consecration that would challenge and offend.
In a culture that is demanding compliance to its own forms of morality and caring, overcoming its standards of excellence and performance enough to gain acceptance of a gospel of repentance is a most daunting commission. Gratefully, though, this isn’ t the commission we’ve been given. Rather than adjusting the message and packaging up the identity with a brand that might somehow help market Jesus to this demanding world, might it be that the best validation is found in Jesus’ response – the power of God. This is why the power was given to us in the Holy Spirit, to set us apart from any other options the world could provide. The true message also cannot change, that to really accept Him as Savior requires much more than signing a card and a pat on the back. For conversion to this alternate life and departure completely from the world’s provision, just like in Jesus’ time, there must be more than just a fine presentation. For necessary heart transformation, there must be power. His power is still what sets Him on a level the world will never touch, and we as His ambassadors will only truly represent Him by demonstrating this same power from consecrated and set-apart lives.