What Jesus Did! 'The Proof Is in the Preacher' — Luke 7:20-23

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

So the men came to Jesus. They said, "John the Baptizer sent us to you with this question: 'Are you the One that is coming, or should we wait for another person?'" At that time, Jesus healed many people of their sicknesses, diseases, and evil spirits {from the devil}. Jesus healed many blind people so that they could see again. Then Jesus said to John's followers, "Go tell John the things that you saw and heard here. Blind people are healed and can see. Crippled people are healed and can walk. People with leprosy are healed. Deaf people are healed and can hear. Dead people are given life. And the Good News {about God's kingdom} is given to the poor people. What great blessings there are for the person that can accept me!"
— Luke 7:20-23
Illustration of Luke 7:20-23 — "John the Baptizer sent us to you with this question: 'Are you the One that is coming, or should we wait for another person?'"

Key Thought

I use to remind preaching students, "God could use a donkey to speak his will, so simply having a message from God doesn't make us all that important" (see Numbers 22). I was referring to Balaam's donkey, of course. What makes the messenger important for God is when his message and his life line up. Jesus reaches back and uses the less-known language about the Messiah and his service to the lost, forgotten, and needy to remind John that he, Jesus, is the Christ of God. To help reinforce his claim, he asks John's disciples to report to John what they have seen him do and heard him say. Jesus is what he says and Jesus does what the prophets proclaimed he would do. John's words were right, even if his personal expectations of all that the Messiah would do are not quite what Jesus did. In our weaker moments, we may want a Messiah that is a little different than Jesus—not so straight talking about obedience and not so demanding about discipleship. But, Jesus does the will of God, doing and saying what God wants him to do and say. It is not Jesus who needs to change, but our expectations and our behaviors!

Today's Prayer

Holy God, who so lovingly sent your Son to be my Savior, open my mind and my heart to better know and understand who Jesus is and who he wants me to be. In the name of your Son, Christ Jesus my Lord, I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

John's followers told John about all these things. John called for two of his followers. John sent them to the Lord (Jesus) to ask, "Are you the One that is coming, or should we wait for another person?" So the men came to Jesus. They said, "John the Baptizer sent us to you with this question: 'Are you the One that is coming, or should we wait for another person?'" At that time, Jesus healed many people of their sicknesses, diseases, and evil spirits {from the devil}. Jesus healed many blind people so that they could see again. Then Jesus said to John's followers, "Go tell John the things that you saw and heard here. Blind people are healed and can see. Crippled people are healed and can walk. People with leprosy are healed. Deaf people are healed and can hear. Dead people are given life. And the Good News {about God's kingdom} is given to the poor people. What great blessings there are for the person that can accept me!" When John's followers left, Jesus began to tell the people about John: "What did you people go out into the desert to see? A weed blown by the wind? What did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No. Those people that have fine, nice clothes live in kings' houses. Really, what did you go out to see? A prophet ? Yes, and I tell you, John is more than a prophet. This was written about John: 'Listen! I (God) will send my helper ahead of you. He will prepare the way for you.' I tell you, John is greater than any man ever born. But even the least important person in the kingdom of God is greater than John." (When the people heard this, they all agreed that God's teaching was good. Even the tax collectors agreed. These were the people that were baptized by John. But the Pharisees and teachers of the law refused to accept God's plan for themselves; they did not let John baptize them.) "What shall I say about the people of this time? What can I compare them to? What are they like? The people of this time are like children sitting in the marketplace. One group of children calls to the other children and says, 'We played flute music for you, but you did not dance; we sang a sad song, but you did not cry.' John the Baptizer came and did not eat {like other people} or drink wine. And you say, 'He has a demon inside him.' The Son of Man came eating {like other people} and drinking wine. And you say, 'Look at him! He eats too much and drinks too much wine! He is a friend of the tax collectors and other bad people!' But wisdom is shown to be right by the things it does."

Luke 7:18-35

Related Scripture Readings

{The Lord's servant says,} "The Lord my Master put his Spirit in me. God chose me to tell good news to poor people and to comfort sad people. God sent me to tell the captives that they are free and to tell the prisoners that they have been set free. God sent me to announce the time when the Lord will show his kindness. God sent me to announce the time when our God will punish evil people. God sent me to comfort sad people. God sent me to the sad people of Zion. {I will get them ready for the celebration.} I will take away the ashes on their head, and I will give them a crown. I will take away their sadness, and I will give them the oil of happiness. I will take away their sorrow, and I will give them celebration clothes. God sent me to name those people 'Good Trees' and 'The Lord's Wonderful Plant.'

Isaiah 61:1-3

The Lord made me in my mother's body so I could be his servant, and lead Jacob and Israel back to him. The Lord will honor me. I will get my strength from my God." The Lord told me, "You are a very important servant to me. The people of Israel are prisoners, but they will be brought back to me. Jacob's family groups will come back to me. But, you have another job; it is even more important than this! I will make you a light for all nations. You will be my way to save all the people on earth."

Isaiah 49:5-6

Jesus answered, "The things I teach are not my own. My teaching comes from him (God) who sent me. If a person wants to do what God wants, then that person will know that my teaching comes from God. That person will know that this teaching is not my own. Any person that teaches his own ideas is trying to get honor for himself. But a person that tries to bring honor to the one that sent him—that person speaks the truth. There is nothing false in him.

John 7:16-18

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.