Tag Archives: Matthew 11

Matthew 11

11 Feb

Matthew 11:2 When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples 3to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”

4Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[b]are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. 6Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”

What do you do when Jesus disappoints you? Novelist Peter Devries says that the problem of pain is like a question mark turned upside down like a fishing hook into the human heart. John the Baptist proclaims in Matthew 3 that the kingdom of God is breaking in through an individual named Jesus. The kingdom of God was supposed to be about restoring and renewing everything that was broken. I think that John’s assumption had to be that when Jesus showed up that the world that he experienced at least would be better.

His got worse. John the Baptist called out Herod Antipas because Herod Antipas fell in love with his brothers wife Herodias. So Herod Antipas divorced his wife and Herodius divorced her husband. John called this out as sketchy. He probably used a much stronger word than sketchy. And for that he was thrown in prison.

So John doubts. In pain we can’t help but have doubts. Was Jesus really the one? Did I really give myself to the right cause?

Jesus responds, “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[b]are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. 6Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”

He quotes from Isaiah 61 which describes what will happen when the Messiah/Christ/King arrives.

His answer is yes, I am the king that you have been waiting for and you are not going to make it out of prison…”blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”

At his second coming Jesus will set all things right. All the pain, injustice and sorrow will be reversed. In the world of Tolkien and Froddo Baggins, “everything sad will become untrue.”

And in the midst of difficulties and sufferings I think that Jesus calls us to signs and displays that the kingdom is very active and growing and working and to let those things protect our hearts when we are going through difficult times.

Matthew 11

12 Jan

Continuing to go through the book of Matthew looking at one chapter a day and offering a thought, question, or quote. Today it is Matthew 11:

11:4Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.

When John the Baptist was in prison he had to be confused. From what we know in Matthew 3 and the other gospels, Jesus was the Messiah, and as the Messiah it meant that the kingdom of God was breaking in. But if it was breaking in why was John in prison. Why did things get worse? So John sends disciples to Jesus to ask if he is really the one we’ve been waiting for.

Notice Jesus doesn’t say “yes.” Instead he answers with the implications of the gospel breaking in: blind seeing, lame walking, those with leprosy cured, the deaf are now hearing and the poor are the first people in on the good new. Jesus points to community as the final apologetic. Can we?

We can have book smarts and argue for our faith and we can tell convincing, tear jerking stories to try to convince people to believe or we can point to the good news of the kingdom breaking in within our community. And that seems to be the most powerful apologetic. Lesslie Newbigen said it best:

“I confess that I have come to feel the primary reality of which we have to take account in seeking for a Christian impact on public life is the Christian congregation. How is it possible that the gospel should be credible, that people should come to believe that the power which has the last word in human affairs is represented by a man hanging on a cross? I am suggesting that the only answer, the only hermeneutic of the gospel, is a congregation of men wand women who believe it and live by it…Evangelistic campaigns, distribution of Bibles and Christian literature, conferences, and even books such as this one…are all secondary, and…they have power to accomplish their purpose only as they are rooted in and lead back to a believing community. Jesus…did not write a book but formed a community.”-Lesslie Newbigin