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

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

As John's disciples were leaving, Jesus began talking about him to the crowds. "What kind of man did you go into the wilderness to see? Was he a weak reed, swayed by every breath of wind? Or were you expecting to see a man dressed in expensive clothes? No, people with expensive clothes live in palaces."
— Matthew 11:7-8 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus' response to John's disciples did not imply that Jesus thought poorly of John, his ministry, or his faith. The things John cared most about were 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 indicated he fit in the traditions of the Old Testament prophets. Even more than that, John was willing to give up his life to prepare the way for the Messiah and to speak the truth to everyone, even King Herod (Matthew 14:3-4). 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 for 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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 3:1-2
  • Matthew 3:4
  • Romans 12:2


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Illustration of Matthew 11:7-8 NLT — "What kind of man did you go into the wilderness to see?

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.