Matthew 11: 1-11 New revised standard version (NRSV)
11 When Jesus finished teaching his twelve disciples, he went from there to teach and proclaim his message in their cities.
Messengers from John the Baptist
2 When John heard in prison what the Messiah was[a] worked, sent him a message[b] students 3 and said to him, “Are you the one who will come or shall we wait for another?” 4 Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5 the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers[c] they are cleansed, the deaf are heard, the dead are resurrected, and the poor are brought good news. 6 And blessed is everyone who does not insult me. ”
Jesus praises John the Baptist
7 When they left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “Why did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 What did you go out to see then? Someone[d] dressed in soft dresses? Look, those who wear soft dresses are in the royal palaces. 9 What did you go out to see then? A prophet?[e] Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one that was written about,
‘See, I send my messenger before you,
who will prepare your way before you. ‘
11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Tim’s dedicated thinking for today
John the Baptist was imprisoned for insulting King Herod. John sent his followers to Jesus and they asked him, “Are you the one who will come or will we wait for another?” (Matthew 11: 3). John had to know if Jesus was the real work — the real Messiah.
In the first century, there were many false messiahs in the region who claimed to be God’s anointed. One of them, for example, was a man named Judas of Galilee who in the year 6 led a bloody rebellion against the Roman census. Another, named Simon, was Herod’s slave who became a messianic figure when he rebelled two years earlier. After Jesus there was another named Theudus, who was killed when he tried to rebel against the Romans. And these are just some of the more prominent ones.
No wonder John asked, “Are you the one who will come or will we wait for another?”
Jesus’ answer is intriguing – it is neither “yes” nor “no”. On the contrary, he simply tells John’s followers to watch what Jesus is doing and to decide for themselves: “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are resurrected, and the poor are brought good news. . And blessed is everyone who does not insult me ”(verses 4-6).
Jesus is actually telling them: Look at what I do and then decide for yourself if I am really the Messiah. It encourages them to watch what they do, not what they say. He not only “tells stories”, but also “walks”.
Jesus expected his followers to walk as well as those who would follow him. He said that we will be known not by words, but by the “fruits” that our lives will bring – just as a tree is known by its fruits. He said we will be known for how we love others.