Word count: 633 = 3 minute read!
(Our interim pastor, Terry Ketchum, preached on Matthew 11 where we find John the Baptist in prison in an unlikely state! The following was adapted from and inspired by Sunday’s sermon.)
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Perhaps we can all relate at one time or another to John the Baptist who, while feeling utterly abandoned and powerless in prison, wondered if what he had given his life to was actually true; he sent a message to Jesus asking, “Are you really the One?” But it is quite startling that John the Baptist asked such a question!
Have you ever felt like what is going on in your personal space just doesn’t line up with the life you thought you were signing up for in Jesus? Do you feel like you are in a place where you can’t see the Kingdom, the good news or Jesus as Lord of that Kingdom? Sometimes we can wonder if this is really “it” and if maybe we should look for something or someone else.
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Jesus gave John an answer but it wasn’t quite what we might expect. He didn’t shame him or reprimand him but said that if he opened his eyes and ears he would see and hear of something absolutely astonishing: the Kingdom of God was breaking through the systems and mindsets of this world: Blind eyes were being opened, the lame were walking along with unparalleled goodness, generosity and love being preached and released!
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John the Baptist thought that the world was coming to an end because his world seemed to be. But unseen by him, the Kingdom was being unleashed where King Jesus was giving this planet a mind-blowing foretaste of the new heavens and the new earth! He was “The One” alright, and if John would simply open his eyes to see that this Kingdom was advancing and was also even within him, he could see that Jesus was indeed the one instituting the fulfillment of the hope of all the world: a mission towards cosmic restoration! Hallelujah!
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But wait! Jesus then takes his question and makes it a declaration of John as being still “the one”for Him – that He continues to believe in him! He affirmed that John was still His forerunner, even after his bold doubting! Jesus declared of him that he was “more than a prophet” and that “among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist.” Wow, the power of declaring our identity!
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But now wait again! Jesus then declares, “yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” That is for you and me! He is saying we are “the ones”! We are the ones right now who are His forerunners to those who have never seen or heard about the Kingdom. We each live among those who have never seen faithfulness, integrity, or seen a healthy marriage, or healthy parenting, or someone who protects and doesn’t use violence to settle issues, or a community of people dedicated to the healing of our broken culture – the lonely, the homeless and the excluded from our society – Jesus says these are the people we can be “the ones” to!
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Open your eyes to the truth of your being: that you are indeed “the one” Jesus has called and named to be a forerunner to His Kingdom. Don’t let momentary doubt keep you imprisoned in the natural mindset. The Kingdom is happening now and He is inviting you to participate. It’s who you are! You are the one!  Together we are the ones! 
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Right now we can be the ones to help and support the Kitsap Rescue Mission where the restorative and redemptive Gospel is seen and heard in our very own community! Join the family of supporters to help “bring them in!” The following is from their website:
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Bring Them In!
Before October 14th of this year, you could have gone to the Kitsap Rescue Mission. But on October 14, 2019, the City extension of our occupancy permit expired, requiring us to seek an alternate location for our shelter – or send those seeking shelter away. Without this overnight shelter operating, there is no place else in Kitsap County where you could expect to be welcomed, no questions asked. We have that temporary location now at the Salvation Army, but that arrangement ends when they close their winter shelter on March 14, 2020. What happens then? You have the opportunity to make sure they don’t sleep outside. Your compassion and care for your homeless neighbors will make the difference! So we ask: GIVE. All funds raised through this site will go toward BRINGING THEM IN.

GIVE INDIVIDUALLY: You can give what is on your heart by clicking HERE.   GIVE TOGETHER: Create a team on Crowdrise and fundraise together.

The more you give, the closer we are to opening our doors back up to 26 men, women and children. You can make a positive difference for our homeless in Kitsap County right now. Share, give and join a compassionate movement to care for our homeless neighbors, because – NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO SLEEP OUTSIDE!