Messengers from John the Baptist

A university student was seen with a large “K” on his T-shirt. When someone asked him what the “K” stood for, he said, “Confused.” “But,” the questioner replied, “you don’t spell “confused“ with a “K.&r … More

Confusion

John the Baptist was cast into prison shortly after he introduced Christ to Israel. He was put there for speaking out against the adulterous relationship King Herod was having with his brother’s wife, Herodias. This time period can be outlined as follows:

  1. Confusion (vv. 18-20) - John knew what Jesus was doing because John’s own disciples had kept him informed. However, he began to entertain doubts and could not understand why Jesus did not declare His Messiahship and set up His kingdom. John’s doubts were natural, and Jesus didn’t rebuke him for them. Instead He responded in a way that John would understand.
  2. Confirmation (vv. 21-23) - In  order to get some answers John sent two of his disciples to Jesus. Jesus did not give these men a lecture on theology but instead invited them to watch as he healed the sick, cast out demons and gave sight to the blind. After they had seen the evidences of His power, He told them to return to John and tell him what they had seen.
  3. Commendation (vv. 24-30) - After John’s disciples had departed Jesus publicly commended John for his ministry. He told them how John was the prophet predicted by Isaiah (v. 27).
  4. Condemnation (vv. 31-35) - Following His commendation of John, the Lord gave a condemnation of that generation for refusing to accept either Himself or John. The Pharisees weren’t troubled by their inconsistency toward John and Jesus.. They were good at justifying themselves. Most of us can also find reasons to do or to believe whatever suits our purposes.

Application

We are all prone at times to feel that we have been neglected and forgotten because the Lord does not speak words of endorsement directly to us. But I can be assured that if I have sought to be faithful to Him, He will always approve me before the Father.

Luke 7:18-35 (English Standard Version)

The disciples of John reported all these things to him. And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to the Lord, saying, "Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?" And when the men had come to him, they said, "John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, 'Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?'" In that hour he healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind he bestowed sight. And he answered them, "Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me." When John's messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who are dressed in splendid clothing and live in luxury are in kings' courts. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, "'Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.' I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he." (When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just, having been baptized with the baptism of John, but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.) "To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, "'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.' For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, 'Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is justified by all her children."

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