The Big Picture

Prison season

Matthew 11:9-11 NKJV

But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.’ “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

John the Baptist lands in prison for doing the right thing. The prison environment creates doubt about the validity of Jesus as the Messiah and so he sends forth his disciples to Jesus to ask if he is the Messiah or they should wait for another. They come back and report to John what they have seen and that seems to put John the Baptist at peace.

Jesus does not make any attempt to rescue John from prison but what He says about him is very intriguing. He calls John the Baptist more than a prophet declaring that of all born of women there has been nine greater than John the Baptist.

The question then is, what is Jesus saying about you?

Which is greater, to be in good terms with Jesus or to be set free from the physical prison.

Reflecting on that, I could not help but think about Job. The reason why Job went through his trials us because when Satan presented himself before God, all that God had to say about Job was good. In fact, God was bragging about Job.

As we go through our prison season we should never lose sight of the big picture. What is the condition of my heart and what is God saying about me right now? Is he pleased with me? Ultimately all other things and all other voices become irrelevant when you compare them with the voice of God.

Think about Stephen in his prison season, one that led to his death.

ACTS 7:55-56

55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

Stephen caught a glimpse of the big picture. While here on earth men were angry and stoning him to death, in heaven Jesus was so pleased with him that had given him a standing ovation ready to welcome him. No wonder Stephen like Jesus was able to pray that God would forgive those who were about to kill him for they knew not what they were doing.

Are you going through your prison season? Do not lose focus of the big picture; be more concerned about what God is saying about you than anything else.