What Jesus Did! 'Proof Positive' — Matthew 11:4-5

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Jesus answered, "Go back to John and tell him about the things that you hear and see: Blind people are able to see again; crippled people are able to walk again; people that have leprosy are healed; deaf people can hear again; dead people are raised from death; and the Good News is told to the poor people."
— Matthew 11:4-5
Illustration of Matthew 11:4-5 — Proof Positive

Key Thought

John the Baptist had preached about a fiery judgment on the enemies of God's people and a mighty Messiah who would bring deliverance for God's people. His confusion about Jesus' role as Messiah was natural. Like everyone in Matthew who chooses a one-dimensional view of the Messiah, he will miss Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah. Jesus reaches into the prophet Isaiah's promises about the Messiah and identifies himself. The background of the prophet's expectation is both judgment and mercy: defeat for the evil ones and deliverance for God's people. The great reminder to us is that a simple, single-sided view of Jesus as Messiah will be lacking. Our hearts must be open to God's plan for the Messiah and not our own sense of what he should do. As we come to know Jesus as both Lord and Christ, we understand that he fulfills the expectations of the prophets for the Messiah, but he is also Sovereign. We do not write the definition; we follow obediently the one who fulfills all God's promises.

Today's Prayer

Almighty God—who spoke and the universe was hung in the great expanse, who promised through your prophets and it was so—please give me a heart full of faith to follow and see in Jesus the fulfillment of all your promises. I don't want to fashion Jesus into my idea of a Messiah, but I want him to be my Lord and Christ. It is through his holy name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus finished telling these things to his twelve followers. Then Jesus left there and went to the towns in Galilee to teach the people and tell them {about God}. John the Baptizer was in prison. He heard about the things Christ was doing. So John sent some of his followers to Jesus. John's followers asked Jesus, "Are you the man that {John said} was coming, or should we wait for another man?" Jesus answered, "Go back to John and tell him about the things that you hear and see: Blind people are able to see again; crippled people are able to walk again; people that have leprosy are healed; deaf people can hear again; dead people are raised from death; and the Good News is told to the poor people. The person that can accept me is blessed." While John's followers were leaving, Jesus began talking to the people about John. Jesus said, "What did you people go out to the desert to see? A weed blown by the wind? No! Really, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No! Those people that wear fine clothes live in king's palaces. So what did you go out to see? A prophet ? Yes, and I tell you, John is more than a prophet. This Scripture was written about John: 'Listen! I (God) will send my helper ahead of you. He will prepare the way for you.' I tell you the truth: John the Baptizer is greater than any man that has ever lived. But even the least important person in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John. Since the time John the Baptizer came until now, the kingdom of heaven has been going forward strongly. People using force have been trying to get the kingdom. All the prophets and the law {of Moses} spoke until the time John came. They told about the things that would happen. And if you will believe the things the law and the prophets said, then you will believe that John is Elijah. The law and the prophets said he would come. You people that hear me, listen! "What can I say about the people that live today? What are they like? The people today are likechildren sitting in the market place. One group of children calls to the other group, 'We played flute music for you, but you did not dance; we sang a sad song, but you were not sad.' {Why do I say people are like that?} Because John came, and he did not eat {like other people} or drink wine. And people say, 'He has a demon inside him.' The Son of Man came eating {like other people} and drinking wine, and people say, 'Look at him! He eats too much and drinks too much wine. He is a friend of tax collectors and other bad people.' But wisdom is shown to be right by the things it does."

Matthew 11:1-19

Related Scripture Readings

People are afraid and confused. Say to those people, "Be strong! Don't be afraid!" Look, your God will come and punish your enemies. He will come and give you your reward. The Lord will save you. Then the blind people will be able to see again. Their eyes will be opened. Then the deaf people will be able to hear. Their ears will be opened. Crippled people will dance like deer. And the people that can't talk now will use their voices to sing happy songs. This will happen when springs of water begin flowing in the desert. Springs will flow in the dry land.

Isaiah 35:4-6

The deaf will hear the words in the book. The blind will see through the darkness and fog. The Lord will make the poor people happy. The poor people will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 29:18-19

{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

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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.