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.”
Comment: John’s problem was that his vision wasn’t focused enough on the present. He understood the whole of the Old Testament revelation of the Messiah as if it would all happen at once. John’s vision was correct but understood properly the Messiah was to come first as the suffering servant and sacrificial life giver (Saviour) but then return later (not yet) as the Judge. He was expecting the overthrow of the Romans and the return of the Jews to their glorious past. That didn’t happen so he did the sensible thing he sent two of his disciples to Jesus’ group to get Jesus view of things. While in the middle of a healing ministry, Jesus is faced with John’s doubts. It seems to me that his answer to them was something like this ‘Look and see what is happening even right here. Return to John and tell him to put what you are seeing into context. The context of many Messianic prophecies from the religious writings which you know and remember how I announced myself in Capernaum. Don’t lose faith, cousin.’
Then turning to the crowd Jesus extols John as a great man. A powerful prophet who shunning the adornment of a lavish life, called people to repentance. He sums it up by adding that John was more than a prophet, rather he was the fulfilment of the promised forerunner of himself, Jesus, the promised messiah.
Prayer: Help me to face my doubts and go to the right place for the answers.