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Luke 7:17-23 "ARE YOU THE COMING ONE, OR DO WE LOOK FOR ANOTHER? " Luke 7:20"
Day 86 – Luke 7
Text: Luke 7:17-23
“ARE YOU THE COMING ONE, OR DO WE LOOK FOR ANOTHER? ”
John the Baptiser was troubled in heart. He had proclaimed that there was One coming after Him, who was mightier (Luke 3:16). However, Jesus did not seem to do what John had believed He could or would do.
He had preached that the Coming One was mighty. He had proclaimed that Jesus came directly from God as the Messiah. John would have known many Scripture portions concerning the Coming Messiah.
In one section of the Messianic prophecies, there was mention of the Messiah establishing a Kingdom on earth. Why had He not done anything to establish His Messianic kingdom? Why was he still languishing in prison? He could have helped the Messiah in so many ways!
John was understandably upset. Nevertheless the question that he asked his disciples to forward to Jesus must have sounded cryptic to the uninitiated. Only those who heard John preach would understand this phrase, “The Coming One”. Only those very close to John, like his disciples, would have understood what he meant. If the disciples were to ask Jesus that question, “Are You the Coming One?” those who heard the question would not be stumbled by the question. John may have been puzzled, but he would not have wanted anyone to be stumbled by his battle with personal doubts.
At the zenith of his success, people were wondering if he was “The Christ” (Luke 3:15). John sent out a disclaimer immediately. He was not The Christ! There was One Coming after him who was the true Messiah. “The Coming One” was John’s phrase for The Messiah – “The Anointed One”.
A GRACIOUS BUT DEEP REPLY
The Lord Jesus understood the question that John raised. He understood the doubts that John was battling in his heart and mind. Immediately, He sought to give to John an answer. However, John was not that average “doubter”. He would surely be able to understand the answer that his disciples would bring back to him.
Let’s study the curious answer that Jesus gave to John,
“And that very hour
He cured many of infirmities,
Afflictions, and evil spirits;
And to many blind He gave sight.”
Our understanding of the theology of Jesus’ miracles is surely confirmed by this statement. The miracles of Jesus were to confirm who He was! His sign-miracles would indicate that He was whom John proclaimed Him to be – The Messiah!
The Disciples of Jesus would later proclaim this great truth – that the sign miracles were given by God to authenticate Jesus as the Messiah (Cf. Acts 2:22; Hebrews 4:2).
The disciples of John would return to their master, and report that Jesus had performed mighty signs and wonders as part of His reply to his question.
The second part of the reply was a simple statement. At first reading it would seem as if Jesus was stating the obvious. He said to John’s disciples,
“Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard:
That the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed,
The deaf hear, the dead are raised,
The poor have the Gospel preached to them.”
However, on closer look, Jesus was in fact citing and fulfilling Messianic prophecy. Consider the following passages,
“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Then the lame shall leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the dumb shall sing…”
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
Because the LORD has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor…”
DEEP AND VIGOROUS MEDITATION NECESSARY
The disciples would of course go back and report faithfully all that they had seen and heard. John would have to struggle through the reply that Jesus made.
He would still have to puzzle over why he was still in prison. He would have to come to terms with the circumstances of his life, and accept that even his imprisonment was not outside God’s will.
John would have to sort out his theology concerning the Messiah. He would have to think about other aspects of the Messianic prophecies. There were as many passages that dealt with the spiritual ministry of the Messiah. There were many passages that dealt with the suffering of the Messiah and the salvation that He would bring to the world (Isaiah 53-56).
John would have to take time to meditate on the words that his disciples would rehearse to him. His fundamentals were good. His faith would see him through this rough patch. If he persevered and maintained his basic faith in what he knew about Jesus, the Messiah, then he would indeed triumph! “Blessed is he who is not offended because of Me” (Luke 7:23).
Let us be deeply challenged to cultivate a deeper spiritual life. Let us plan to make deep meditation and prayer a very real part of our life. Then every assault on our faith will fail. We will never be moved because we have anchored our hope in the Lord Jesus Himself.