John the Baptist lost his head to an evil king. Jesus’ lost his close cousin whom He had described with great accolade (Mat. 11:11). It must have deeply grieved the Son of Man to hear the tragic news. The dictionary defines crisis as:
1. a stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, especially for better or for worse, is determined; turning point. 2. a condition of instability or danger, as in social, economic, political, or international affairs, leading to a decisive change. 3. a dramatic emotional or circumstantial upheaval in a person's life.
John’s death was a turning point. By heaven’s calculus, no longer was the Messiah’s messenger needed. Jesus’ growing popularity, the size and magnitude of His ministry meant the danger to Him was also heightened. This was underscored by the elimination of John the Baptist and the growing hostility of the religious establishment. Scripture does not say but it may have been a dramatic emotional event for Christ as it foreshadowed His future.
Jesus effectively teaches us how to move past crisis. First, He withdrew to be alone. A crisis should never be ignored—it needs to be appropriately processed. Jesus’ intent was to get time with His Father and probably grieve. However, His focus for solitude was interrupted by crowds demanding His attention. He remembered His primary purpose was “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Only after miraculously feeding the 5000 men (plus women and children), sending His disciples back to sea, and dismissing the crowds, could He achieve His first goal of spending alone time with His Father.
A wise way to move past a crisis is for us to recognize and then spend time with God addressing it. The time for this, based on circumstances, may not be immediate. That is okay. Maintain purpose. Do what is necessary. Just don’t shortcut the time to work through the problem(s). How a crisis is handled determines how we will do in the future. Also, remember people are different in how they respond to challenges. When Elijah’s life was threatened by Queen Jezebel he faced a major predicament. It took that powerful prophet over 41 days and a long road trip back to recover (1 Kings 19). Moving past crisis is a normal part of the journey and the formula for our coping is best obtained by listening to the Holy Spirit.
I like the two Oriental characters for the word crisis. In both Japanese and Chinese, they mean “threatening opportunity.”—Jack Hayford, John Killinger and Howard Stevenson in Mastering Worship
©2021 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)