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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

JOHN SEEKS TO KNOW THE SAVIOR

Luke 7:18-23 And the disciples of John showed him of all these things. And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art Thou He that should come, or look we for another? When the men were come unto Him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto Thee, saying, Art Thou He that should come, or look we for another? And in that same hour He cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind He gave sight. Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me. (Also See Matt. 11:1-6)

It is evident that many ofthe disciples of John (the Baptist) had become followers of Jesus during His earthly ministry, and especially now that John the Baptist was in prison. From Mark 6:17-18 we learn that Herod imprisoned John, because he severely reprimanded Herod for taking, and marrying the wife of Philip, his brother. John openly condemned Herod by telling him that it is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife. Being informed about Jesus' teaching and the miracles He performed, and from his prison walls, John sent two of his disciples ...to Jesus to ask this question: Art thou He that should come, or look we for another? John the Baptist, as a devout Jew, had the assurance that God promised a Messiah would be born from the lineage of David. Although the Savior was foretold in other scriptures, John would have only to go to Isaiah for this proof (Isa. 9:1-6; 11:1-5; 35:4-6; 53:1-12). No doubt by the study of these scriptures, John the Baptist knew the Messiah was to come, establish His kingdom, and rule over it for eternity. Having heard about the divine power that Jesus demonstrated by the miracles He performed, John simply asked Him, through his disciples, whether or not He was the Messiah God promised through His prophets.

Jesus answered by telling these disciples to return to John the Baptist with this message: tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised. Although the prophets of the Old Testament performed miracles, they were mere instruments of God and, in turn, gave God all the glory. The miracles of Jesus were different. Although He glorified God with His compassionate miracles, He possessed the power to perform them in His own name as the Son of God. The multiple numbers of miracles He performed and the degree, to which the recipients of the miracles were benefited, set Jesus far above those of the prophets. His miracles served as infallible proof that He was the promised Messiah; they could not be attributed to fraud or deception as many false prophets had preformed by slight of hand, illusion, or trickery. Jesus was sure that His miracles were sufficient to convince John the Baptist that the Son, miraculously born to Mary, his mother Elizabeth's cousin, was, indeed, the Messiah, the Savior of the world.

As further proof, Jesus sent this message to John the Baptist: to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me. This is exactly what Jesus read from the book of Isaiah (See Isa. 61:1-2a) to those present in the synagogue in Nazareth. And having read this passage, He confessed His deity by telling the Jews present on that day: this day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears (See Luke 4:18-21). Although it would not be fully revealed until after His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension back into heaven, the gospel message Jesus preached was that through Him, obedient, repentant sinners could be reconciled to God and obtain the hope of eternal salvation. This we know took place on the Day of Pentecost and is recorded in Acts 2. The saved will be those that are not offended in Christ - those that will not reject Jesus' doctrine and message of salvation due to His poverty, His meek demeanor, His humility, and the fact that He became a servant to all mankind. None can be offended in Him because He grew up in the basest of towns - Nazareth of Galilee. All must overlook the fact that He associated with the sinners, and took as His disciples from the lowest social ranks. To all that expect the promised Messiah to become an earthly king and rule only the Jewish nation with regal pomp and circumstance, Jesus would be an offence, or a stumbling block, to their salvation. To all that accept Him as the Son of God, through Whom we find the hope of eternal life, Jesus is a stepping stone to salvation.