Thursday, July 29, 2010

John Wonders if Jesus is the Messiah


The disciples of John came to John in prison. They visited him and told him all that his friend Jesus had been doing, of his preaching, the miracles he worked and the large crowds that followed him. Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Jesus, he sent two of his disciples, and they said unto him, "Are you the One that is to come or should we look for another?" Jesus answered and said unto them, "Go and show John all the things you have seen and heard for yourselves, the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are healed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the Gospel preached to them and blessed is he who is not offended by me."


After they had departed Jesus spoke to the people about John. "What did you go into the wilderness to see? A reed blowing in the wind? But what was it you went out to see, a prophet? Yes, I say unto you, someone who is much more than just a prophet. For it was he of whom it was spoken by the prophets, "Behold, I send my messenger before your face, which shall prepare the way before you" (Malachi 3:1). Verily I say unto you, among them born of women there has not risen a greater than John the Baptist. And, if you will accept it, he is the Elijah who was to have come (Malachi 4:5-6). He that has ears to hear let him hear! For all the prophets and the law prophesied until the coming of John the Baptist. From then on the Kingdom of God has been proclaimed. And everyone who enters does so with violence. Many of the people listened to John, even publicans and sinners justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected God's plan for themselves and refused to be baptized by John. With what shall I compare this generation? They are like the children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to one another and saying, "We played a song for you but you didn't dance. We sang a dirge for you but you didn't weep." For John the Baptizer came neither eating bread nor drinking wine and you said, "He is demon possessed." I come eating and drinking and you say, "Behold a glutton and a drinker! A man who keeps bad company." But wisdom is justified by her children." (Luke 7:18-35, Matthew 11:2-19) (Jesus here notes the difference between his own personality and that of his friend John the Baptist. John was austere, ascetic and withdrawn from society. Jesus was affable and sociable. They had different personalities and approaches but were nevertheless friends. Jesus says he and John had different methods but the same message of repentance. Despite the difference in delivery of the message, Jesus remarks that at either approach many refused to repent and believe.)


John's disciples returned to John and told them all the Jesus had bidden them. And John said, "I bare record that indeed he is the Son of God" (John 1:34).

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