“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me’” (Matthew 11:4–6).
The Lord Jesus always has the best answer for every distinct situation. Rather than a terse yes-or-no answer to John the Baptist, Jesus reported to his disciples a reminder of the healing miracles already so well-reported and witnessed. The signs had prompted many to follow Jesus (Matt. 4:23–25), and notable healings were well publicized: the cleansing of an unclean spirit (Mark 1:28), Jairus’s daughter (Matt. 9:26), and the Galilean leper (Luke 5:15).
Jesus greatly loved John the Baptist, and because he was His faithful forerunner, our Lord purposed to give him a personal and direct report of miracle-working evidence about Himself. Concerning this time of John’s doubting, Luke writes, “At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind” (Luke 7:21). What He did included nothing to improve John’s difficult circumstances, but He did send him a special confirmation that He was indeed performing messianic works. Such miracles occurred in keeping with Isaiah’s prophecy (Isa. 35:5; 61:1).
In essence, Jesus’ initial reassurance to John said, “These things are just a preview of My coming kingdom. You can see by what I do now that I care, that I heal, and that I have control over all things.”
Does anything please you more than seeing God’s kingdom advanced and His name being honored? What other priorities threaten to dethrone this goal from being your top reason for satisfaction?
From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008.