What Jesus Did! 'What Were You Looking For?' — Matthew 11:7-8

Thursday, May 18, 2017

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."
— Matthew 11:7-8
Illustration of Matthew 11:7-8 — "What did you people go out to the desert to see?

Key Thought

Jesus' response to John's disciples did not imply that Jesus thought poorly of John, his ministry, or his faith. What John cared most about was God's will and God's coming Kingdom. He was not swayed by public opinion or the desire for personal acceptance. John was not concerned about making a fashion statement or having an easy life. John's clothing, location, and faithfulness to God's truth all indicate he fits in the traditions of the Old Testament prophets. Even more than that, John is willing to give up his life to prepare the way for the Messiah and to speak the truth to everyone, even King Herod. John was God's messenger, for a special time, in answer to special prophetic messages, and for a special audience hungering for God's word. For us, John stands as a great reminder of two important truths: 1 - truth is more important than life, and 2 - greatness is found in service to God.

Today's Prayer

Gracious Father, please give me the courage to speak your truth in love, to stand for what is right no matter the opposition or the popular opinion, and to serve you without regard to my situation in life. I want to live my life for your Kingdom and not for myself. To you belong all glory, honor, and praise for your Kingdom and mercy and might! In Jesus name. 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

At that time John the Baptizer came and began telling people a message {from God}. This was in the desert area of Judea. John said, "Change your hearts and lives, because the kingdom of heaven is coming soon."

Matthew 3:1-2

John's clothes were made from camel's hair. John had a leather belt around his waist. For food, John ate locusts and wild honey.

Matthew 3:4

Don't change yourselves to be like the people of this world. But let God change you inside with a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide and accept what God wants for you. You will be able to know what things are good and pleasing to God and what things are perfect.

Romans 12:2

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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.