Podcast Reflections

Reflection on Luke 7.18b-23

Listen to a reflection on the gospel reading set for Advent 3: Wednesday, 15 December 2021 – Luke 7.18b-23

Luke 7.18b-23

John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ When the men had come to him, they said, ‘John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” ‘ Jesus had just then cured many people of diseases, plagues, and evil spirits, and had given sight to many who were blind. And he answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.’


How easily are you offended, and what is it that offends you the most? How strong is your sense of forbearance? Are you one of those whose intolerance leads to repeated outbursts of anger and resentment? Or, are you someone whom everyone knows to be kind and understanding, even in the most trying of circumstances?

As the world has emerged from the restrictions imposed by governments in response to the Covid pandemic, it has been noted by many commentators that people have become angrier and less tolerant. This can be seen in the way some ignore the various rules that are in place to protect ourselves … and others. I have heard it said on many occasions that someone ‘doesn’t care what the rules are, they have a right to behave as they wish’. The notion of caring for others, and being grateful that we are also being cared for, seems to have evaporated in a cloud of selfishness. We have become like those who struggle with faith, those who will only believe when shown empirical evidence.

In today’s reading Jesus is questioned by two disciples of John the Baptist. Even John is found to be in that place where he needs reassurance. John sends his disciples to ask Jesus: Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?

Like John, we live in the midst of God’s wonderful creation. Time and time again we witness God answering our prayers. God may not respond to our pleas in the ways we might expect, or hope, but prayers are answered. Just as John and his disciples saw Jesus give sight to the blind, heal the lame and the lepers, restore hearing to the deaf and raise the dead, so we, if we look with the open eyes of true faith, see God’s power working in this world. 

So … if we see the love and grace of God at work on a daily basis, why do we struggle with patience and tolerance? Why do we find it so difficult to help others find the path that will lead them into a closer relationship with God?

Jesus says: blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.  In these few words we should find instruction and inspiration. We should hear Jesus telling us to set aside our feelings of intolerance, anger and resentment. We should also hear Jesus inspiring us to be ever-grateful for all that he has given us through the sacrifice he made on the cross. Let us pray that we might heed the words of Jesus, and help others to find the way that leads to true blessedness.