Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 12, 2018

“it is these (Scriptures) that testify about Me (Jesus)”

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 7:18-23.

“The disciples of John reported to him about all these things.  Summoning two of his disciples, John sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?”  When the men came to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, to ask, ‘Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?’”  At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits;  and He gave sight to many who were blind.  And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard:  the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM.  Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”  Luke 7:18-23.

——————–

Why did Jesus not simply answer “Yes.” to the question of the disciples of John the Baptist:  “Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?”?

John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus.  John the Baptist was a relative of Jesus.  Jesus loved John the Baptist.  One could expect that Jesus would give a simple, straight-forward, and crystal-clear answer.

But, instead of a simple answer “Yes.”, Jesus quoted Scripture (Isaiah 35:5 and Isaiah 61:1).

We do not know why Jesus replied the way he did.  But, in any event, the following truths are worthy of meditation in this devotion.

First, Scriptures bear witness of Jesus.  Maybe, Jesus wanted Scripture “to do the talking”.

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life;  it is these that testify about Me;”  John 5:39.

Second, God has chosen faith to be the “instrument” by which we “embrace Christ our Righteousness” and “that keeps us in communion with him in all his benefits”.  Article 22 of the Belgic Confession.  Maybe, Jesus’ reply was better at building the faith of the disciples of John the Baptist than a reply of “Yes.” would be at building faith.

“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope;  for who hopes for what he already sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.”  Romans 8:24-25.

Third, more generally, we do not get answers nor guidance by a literal clear voice out of heaven.  We get answers and guidance through Scriptures known as the word of God.  Maybe, Jesus wanted to answer the question of the disciples of John the Baptist through Scriptures and also show that the Scriptures were fulfilled through Him.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.”  Psalm 119:105.

“147 I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I wait for Your words.
148 My eyes anticipate the night watches,
That I may meditate on Your word.”  Psalm 119:147-148.

“7 The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true;  they are righteous altogether.
10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.”  Psalm 19:7-11.

Fourth, in regards to Jesus’ concluding statement in His reply (“Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”), there were those in Jesus’ day and there are also those today who are offended by Jesus.  Maybe, Jesus wanted to humble the disciples of John the Baptist.

The religious leaders in Jesus’ day were offended by Jesus and wanted to kill Jesus, because they were jealous of Jesus, convicted of their sin, and fearful of losing power.  There are also those today who are offended by Jesus, because they are proud and do not want to admit that they are spiritually “poor”, so to speak, and need a Savior.

“But He gives a greater grace.  Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”  James 4:6.


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