We read today how John the Baptist sent two of his disciples to Jesus to ask, “’Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?'” [Luke 7 v.20]  We remember, when we read ch. 3, how John responded when “all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ”. He had said “he who is mightier than I is coming …. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”  [v.16,17]

John’s words were true, he was quoting somewhat from Psalm 1 v.4 and Micah 4 v.12. But it had not been revealed to him that the Messiah was coming twice! His second coming (we anticipate will occur soon – very soon?) will witness these events happening!

The response of Jesus to John’s messengers is not a straightforward ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’    He says to them, “”Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.” [v.22]

What would John have made of this reply? It was a challenge to him to revisit the words of the prophets – and see how this had been prophesied! Would John have remembered Isaiah 29 v.18,19 and the opening verses of Isaiah 61?    Are there not parallels for us in this as we strive to fit the jigsaw pieces of what appear to be prophecies of the last days, before Jesus returns, into place? How often have we had cause to revisit past our interpretations of prophesy, to seek for better ways to fit them together!

We note how Jesus finished his comments on the foolishness of the human perceptions about both him and John the Baptist!  In v. 35 we read, “… yet wisdom is justified by all her children.”    That is, by the affect it has in the future, how it leads them to live their lives – as well as being prepared for future events that will affect them!

We need to stand back and get the whole picture, both of the words and detail of prophecy, and (even more important) the way of life Jesus and his Father look to see in us.  The final verse of Hosea’s prophecy provides an appropriate finish to our thoughts. “Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the LORD are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.”

By Bro D.Caudery

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