Monday 20 November 2023

Luke 7:18-35

18 John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19 he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’ ”

21 At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 23 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

24 After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 25 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces. 26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27 This is the one about whom it is written:

“ ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.’

28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

29 (All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John. 30 But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.)

31 Jesus went on to say, “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:

“ ‘We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not cry.’

33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ 35 But wisdom is proved right by all her children.”

This passage is all about evidence. In Luke 4:18-19 Jesus announced the beginning of his ministry by reading from Isaiah 61:1-2b, a passage all about the coming of God’s kingdom (the year of the Lord’s favour). This passage was widely recognised as talking about the Saviour who was to come.

Now, in response to John’s question, Jesus uses similar language to the Isaiah 61 passage as he points to the miracles he has been performing. As he languishes in prison, John may be doubting that he heard God correctly about who Jesus is. After all, the popular expectation of the Messiah was that he would conquer Roman rule, which is not what he hears Jesus is doing. However, Jesus directs John’s thoughts and expectations towards the Isaiah passage instead. His miraculous actions are evidence that he is God on earth.

Jesus then talks about John and how he also fulfils a prophecy in Israel’s scriptures. So, both Jesus’ and John’s identities are revealed by the evidence of their lives.

This prompts me to ask myself, what does the evidence of my life show? In Galatians 5, we are told that the fruit that the Spirit will produce in my life as I grow in Jesus is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The more this fruit is displayed in my life, the more evidence there is that Jesus is alive and active today and that I belong to him.

Jesus, your life showed that you were Saviour God, and showed your character of kindness, compassion and love. Please forgive me for the times when the evidence of my life does not point to you. Please fill me with your Spirit today to produce good fruit in my life, which can be evidence to help others find you. Amen

Written by Megan Cornell

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