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11:2-6 – Imprisoned Baptist Encouraged

|| Luke 7:18-23

MT11:2 But while in jail[1] John the Baptist heard[2] about the works of the Messiah,[3] and by means of his disciples,[4] MT11:3 asked Jesus, “Are you the One coming[5] or are we to expect a different person?”[6] MT11:4 Jesus responded, telling [John’s disciples], “Go back and report[7] to John what you heard and saw: MT11:5 Blind people are seeing, lame people are walking around, lame people have been cleansed, deaf people are hearing, dead people are being raised up, and poor people[8] are hearing the good news! MT11:6 And blessed is anyone who is not offended by me!”[9]

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[1] Jail: See Luke 7:18-28.

[2] The Baptist heard: Either he is able to receive visitors or he learns from his guardians.

[3] Messiah: The Greek is CHRISTOU. Originally the Gospel of Matthew was written in Hebrew and so the word would have been more like ham·Ma·shi’ach. Leviticus 4:3, 5 is the first use of the word regarding the high priest of Israel, Aaron. Anyone “anointed” is a “messiah.” Compare Daniel 9:25, 26.

[4] His disciples: For some time the Messianic movement was divided into two primary groups: the disciples of John and the disciples of Jesus. There may have been a degree of dissension between the two. Later in the Book of Acts we come upon John’s disciples unfamiliar with baptism in the name of Jesus (Acts 18:24, 25). The phrase “his disciples” is also used of Paul (Acts 9:25).

[5] One coming: At Matthew 3:11 John has already confessed of another one coming who is more privileged. Possibly the idea of a “Coming One” is drawn from Genesis 49:10, Daniel 9:24, and Malachi 3:1. Compare also Deuteronomy 18:15 (Luke 7:19). Possibly the imprisoned John wants confirmation regarding the very one he pointed out as the “Lamb of God.” (John 1:29)

[6] Expect a different person: Evidently some Jews had different views regarding “the coming one” expecting two different persons, one of which was to be “Elijah.” To this day some Jews expect both the Messiah and Elijah. At Passover an empty chair is provided should Elijah appear.

[7] Go back and report: Jesus sends these disciples back to the imprisoned Baptist with the good news of what has been happening during his incarceration. We may happily assume this news was received by John with tremendous joy. We can hear his rejoicing and prayers in that dungeon.

[8] Poor people: Jesus never forgets the poor and he lists them among genuine miracles.

[9] Not offended by me: The Greek is interesting and related to an English word, SKANDALISTHE – and perhaps “scandalized” would be a better word. Most translators prefer “stumbled.” A person in prison gets his news from mixed sources – some may be accusatory and scandalous. Possibly there was much divisive talk among John’s own disciples. John wants confirmation and proof that the One he baptized is the Messiah. Perhaps he wants this more for his disciples than himself. Note Jesus does not directly answer the question which is something of a Hebrew manner. The prophet foretold stumbling (Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 8:14; Romans 9:33; 1 Peter 2:8).

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Preceding

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:7-12 – Opposition and Two Baptisms

Matthew 9:35-38 – Looking at Jesus our shepherd

Matthew 10:5-10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus’ Orders: Territory, Theme, Trust

Matthew 10:40-42 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Reception and Reward

Matthew 11– Intro to The Nazarene’s Commentary: Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities

Matthew 11:1 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 1 Twelve Sent out to Teach

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Related

  1. The Mad Prophet
  2. The Baptiser (Part 2)
  3. The One who comes after the messenger. Mark 1:7-13 (by New providence Mennonite) or The One who comes after the messenger. Mark 1:7-13 (by William Higgins)
  4. Seeing and Blind
  5. Blind Guides
  6. The Chosen Stone
  7. belonging together
  8. Trusting the Process
  9. Violence (Mt 11:12-11:12)
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Comments on: "Matthew 11:2-6 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 2 Imprisoned Baptist Encouraged" (4)

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