Preacher, Cut Yourself Some Slack!

It is amazing to me who approaches Jesus about fasting in Matthew 9. It’s not a Pharisee. Not a scribe. Not a random person off the street. But some of John’s disciples. John as in “John the Baptist.” Yeah, that John the Baptist. The same John who was Jesus’ cousin. The same John who leaped in his mom’s womb when he heard Jesus’ mom talk. The same John who preached Jesus’ coming and declared His arrival. The same John who baptized Jesus. The same John who saw the Spirit descend on Jesus. The same John who heard God speak from heaven when Jesus came out of the water.

His disciples were confused about what Jesus was up to.

Preacher, if John the Baptist had a hard time communicating to his disciples, you will to. If John’s disciples had to go to Jesus to get clarity, yours will to. If John couldn’t adequately download information about Jesus to his own followers, you won’t be able to either.

Preacher, you won’t get it right all the time. I dare say you won’t get it right a lot of the time. You will be confused and will, more than likely, confuse your listeners sometimes. And you know what? It’s okay. Jesus didn’t say, “John! You crazy cousin! Get it right for crying out loud!” No. He doesn’t rebuke John. In fact, he doesn’t even refer them to any of John’s inadequacies or deficiencies. He answers their questions with truth and kindness.

As a matter of fact, if you think about it, John’s disciples did what we should want any disciple to do: go to Jesus with their questions and curiosities. John didn’t get it all right, all the time. Even John the Baptist’s disciples were confused. So relax. Breathe. Take the pressure off. Cut yourself some slack. There’s only One who is perfect. As you remind your people of that, make sure you tell yourself that, too.