Disciples from John


Disciples from John
Matthew 11:1–6 “Go and tell John…the blind
receive their sight and the lame
walk…the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is
not offended by me” (vv.

Among the more persuasive evidences for the authenticity of
Scripture is the
Bible’s willingness to tell the whole truth about the people
it describes even
when they look bad. Scripture does not hide the faults of
the great heroes of
the faith. The authors of the various biblical books
could have passed over
the occasions on which figures like Moses doubted the
Lord (Ex. 4:1–17). Such
episodes are included because the apostles and
prophets, under the Holy
Spirit’s inspiration, knew they had to tell the
truth about these people,
warts and all.

Of all people, we would
expect John the Baptist to have the fewest doubts
about the person and work
of Jesus. After all, he is the Messiah’s forerunner
and has already baptized
Him, recognizing Him as the Father’s Anointed One
(Matt. 3). Yet even John, a
great man of God, wavers when the going gets
tough. John’s righteousness in
standing up to Herod Antipas has landed him in
a jail cell in Herod’s
fortress at Machaerus, located southeast of Jerusalem
on the eastern shore of
the Dead Sea (4:12; 14:1–4). There has been no
judgment of evil or
vindication of holiness, which John expects to happen at
the hands of Jesus,
God’s Messiah (3:11–12). As a result, John begins to
question His identity,
and he sends some of his disciples to inquire of Him

answers John’s question indirectly with a list of miracles (vv. 4–5),
most of
which are drawn from messianic prophecies in Isaiah 35 and 61.
He does not recite the promises of vengeance also found in
these chapters
from Isaiah. It is as if He is saying to John, “Yes, I am the
Messiah and my
miracles prove it. But the final judgment is yet to come. In
the meantime, I
will preach the Gospel to the poor and redeem God’s people.”
Christ is inviting John to read Isaiah again and bring his expectations of the
Messiah’s work into line with what the prophet says about how the
(especially Jesus) must suffer before the kingdom comes in all its
(chap. 53).

Like John, we live in an era when the good guys
do not always win. Righteous
people suffer and this can lead us to doubt
God’s promises. But Christ’s
kingdom is growing, and we look forward to its
sure consummation (Heb.

Coram deo: Living before the face of
Matthew Henry writes: “The
remaining unbelief of good men may sometimes, in an
hour of temptation,
strike at the root, and call in question the most
fundamental truths which
were thought to be well settled. The best saints have
need of the best helps
they can get for the strengthening of their faith, and
the arming of
themselves against temptations to infidelity.” Let us turn to
the Word and
other Christians so that doubt does not fester into unbelief.

For further

Psalm 27

The Bible in a year:

1 Kings 4–5

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