Look again at the story of the Holy Innocents and you will find another story and lesson which many people should try applying today! The slaughter of the Holy Innocents came about because King Herod asked the Wise Men how long they had been pursuing the star.
And with that, we can see the supreme folly of King Herod thinking that he was going to be able to stand in God’s way and prevent the coming of the Savior! The prophecy was well-known and abundantly documented in scripture! Did Herod think that he was so mighty that he could stand in God’s way?
If we look, we might find people committing similar follies in our time, such as thinking they know more than God, or ignoring Christ’s teachings in favor of some text which his teachings superseded.
Once again, we have clues to something. The Pharisees send people to ask John The Baptist who he is, and John denies being any of the people he asks about, including Elijah. John denies being any of them; yet later Jesus makes a statement that seemed to say that John was indeed someone!
Of course, John would deny it. If he had said who he was, it would have diverted attention from what he was supposed to do, and the one whose coming he proclaimed.
John did say that the one they were waiting for was standing among them and they didn’t know it! Another case of folks waiting for something that’s already here?
There is a secret hidden in today’s Gospel lesson, for those willing to dig and think a bit more deeply. John the Baptist’s disciples ask Jesus that famous question as to whether he is the one they were waiting for. Jesus answers the question by telling them to look and see.
That is also great advice for us. So many of us sit and wait for something that’s “coming”, and I wonder how many of us are waiting for something that is already here, or something that we already have!
So much of religion seems to be based on waiting for something to happen, but how much of the waiting is really necessary? Christians wait for the coming of The Kingdom of God, yet do they need to wait? They are not alone, for some of the Norse wait for Ragnarok, yet others say that Ragnarok has already been!
The question, then, is how much need is there to wait, or are there cases in which we can claim something that some others might think that they need to wait for?
While the Epistle speaks some of what was as opposed to what is now, the Gospel gives us a prophecy by Jesus of what to expect and what to do. And he also promises that that generation of people alive at that time would not pass away before it came to be! So, what gives?
In some other places in the gospels and elsewhere, there are clues to solve that riddle. Those who wish to sit and wait for something that is “coming”, nobody will stop them. But what about the rest of us?