What Jesus Did! 'Elijah Has Come' — Matthew 11:13-15

Monday, May 22, 2017

"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!"
— Matthew 11:13-15
Illustration of Matthew 11:13-15 —  The law and the prophets said he would come.

Key Thought

John is Elijah who has come back. This is more than just a novelty; he is the signal of a new time, a new age. Jesus is accepting all of John's predictions of the Messiah: "The Kingdom of God is near; it is breaking in upon you. The time is now. Open your eyes and hearts to the work of God and the triumph of his Kingdom." As Matthew so carefully does throughout his gospel, he wants us to understand that Jesus is not disconnected from Israel's past, but the guarantor that the promises of the prophets in Israel's past are now coming true. Great things are happening and the Great One is here.

Today's Prayer

Holy God, thank you for Jesus' confidence in his identity and his role in your great drama of deliverance. Thank you for being faithful to your promises all these many years. Give me courage to faithfully follow Jesus while also understanding him better by getting better acquainted with your work all throughout the Old Testament. In the name of Jesus, the One in whom every Amen is spoken and every promise finds its "yes" 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

The followers asked Jesus, "Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first {before the Christ comes}?" Jesus answered, "They are right to say that Elijah is coming. And it is true that Elijah will make all things the way they should be. But I tell you, Elijah has already come. People did not know who he was. People did to him all the {bad} things they wanted to do. It is the same with the Son of Man. Those same people will make the Son of Man suffer." Then the followers understood that Jesus meant that John the Baptizer was really Elijah.

Matthew 17:10-13

The Lord All-Powerful says, "I am sending my messenger to prepare the way for me. Then suddenly, the Master you are looking for will come to his temple. Yes, the messenger of the {New} Agreement that you want really is coming! Then I will come to you—and I will do the right thing. I will be like a person that is ready to tell the judge about the bad things people did. Some people do evil magic. Some people do the sin of adultery. Some people make false promises. Some people cheat their workers—they don't pay them the money they promised. People don't help widows and orphans. People don't help strangers. People don't respect me!" The Lord All-Powerful said these things.

Malachi 3:1; 4:5

Jesus went to the area of Caesarea Philippi. Jesus said to his followers, "I am the Son of Man. Who do the people say I am?" The followers answered, "Some people say you are John the Baptizer. Other people say you are Elijah. And some people say that you are Jeremiah or one of the prophets. " Then Jesus said to his followers, "And who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Matthew 16:13-16

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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.