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

Sunday, May 16, 2021

ToGather: Freed to Serve

Jesus paid the price to free us from sin, death, and hell so we could serve others in love.

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[In answer to the question from John's disciples about whether he was the Messiah,] Jesus told them, "Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen — the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor."
— Matthew 11:4-5 NLT

Key Thought

John the Baptizer 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 (Matthew 3:12; John 1:29). His confusion about Jesus' role as Messiah was natural. Like everyone in Matthew's gospel who chose a one-dimensional view of the Messiah, John could lose sight of Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah, without Jesus' answer. Jesus reached into the prophet Isaiah's promises about the Messiah and identifies himself. The background of the prophet's expectation was both judgment and mercy: defeat for the evil ones and deliverance for God's people, the same as John's message about Jesus before John was arrested. 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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Isaiah 35:4-6
  • Isaiah 29:18-19
  • Isaiah 61:1-3


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Illustration of Matthew 11:4-5 NLT — Proof Positive

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.