Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
This passage breaks my heart. John the Baptist is in a jail cell and he wonders if Jesus is really the one promised who will set the captives free - he wants Jesus to set him free from prison. I can hear the sadness in John's voice as he speaks through his friends. John has been expecting Jesus to rescue him and Jesus has not come. His question of Christ is a desperate cry for help and Jesus does not give any indication that he will free John.
In the same way God does not always answer our prayers. Unanswered prayers are so difficult and sometimes we can be offended that He does not come to our rescue. To John, and to us, Jesus simply says that there is a blessing when we are not offended by unanswered requests. In a sense faith is all about our reactions to unanswered prayers and we are blessed when we trust God when answers do not come.
Life can be hard Lord. Help me to keep my heart free of offence.
A few years ago I shared a message titled "Broken Hearts, Unanswered Prayers" that spoke to this passage. You can download the audio file from the link in the sidebar.