In Matthew 11, John’s disciples went to ask Jesus if He was the One. The answer, of course, was yes. “Go and tell John the things which you see: 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. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me” (Matt. 11:4-6).
Jesus then turned to the crowd and said, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?” (Matt. 11:7). This referred to John. He was the one “crying in the wilderness.” He was one the people knew as a prophet of God; a steadfast, immovable, uncompromising man.
It did not matter how hard the wind blew, John did not bend. The powerful religious leaders went to hear him and were dressed down with ferocity. “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bare fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say within yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones” (Lk. 3:7, 8). In other words, you are sinners and your Hebrew pedigree will not do a thing for you; repent before it is too late.
We know what kind of man John was. What about you and me?
We live in a time when the wind is blowing hard. It is getting stronger; by the day it seems. Satan is conducting an all-out assault on the people of the Lord. He is attacking us with materialism, sexual immorality, worldliness, intoxication, and much more. His tactics are insidious. The devil uses people around us. They are the wind as they speak great swelling words of emptiness. Some entice us with pleasure. Others threaten us with pain. The questions, will we bend?
One of the big onslaughts is the push to accept homosexuality. Legislatures and courts are pushing for legal privileges for sodomites. Businesses and schools are pressuring people to either agree or get out. It is intolerable to have an intolerance for sin.
Another troublesome trend we are just beginning to face is Islamic infiltration. Some of the events are in the news, but much of what is going on is not. The institutes of “higher learning” are filled with moral-relativists which go further than justifying premarital sex. Moral relativism also addresses the view one has of cultures and religions that influence those cultures. A generation or more has been taught Islam is just as valid, and in some ways superior, to Christianity. This battle is just starting and we fear the ramifications will be greater than any of us can now imagine.
What are we going to do? Are we going to bend like a reed in the wind? Or, will we be determined to follow in John’s footsteps. Let us resolve here and now to be firm in our conviction that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and that His Law is the one and only religious truth (Jn. 8:24; 16:13; 17:17). The wind will howl greatly. Some of us, like John, may pay the ultimate price for a lack of compromise…and speaking out. So be it. The Lord will reward us.