In the Fulness of Time/Part 68
|By: Dr. Thomas O. Figart; ©2007|
|John the Baptist was preaching an earthly Messianic Kingdom, with the message that the Messiah had already come. He sent two of his disciples to Christ asking, “Are You He that should come, or do we look for another?” These verses record Jesus’ reply.|
Jesus’ Reply to John’s Question: Fulfilled Prophecy. Matthew 11:4-6
John the Baptist was preaching an earthly Messianic Kingdom, with the message that the Messiah had already come, and because of this, Herod had him arrested in put in prison. John sent two of his disciples to Christ for assurance and encouragement, with this question, “Are You He that should come, or do we look for another?” In the following verses, Jesus gives His reply:
- Matthew 11:4 “Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see.”
Luke 7:19 adds that “in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits, and unto many that were blind he gave sight.” Jesus made sure that John’s two disciples were eyewitnesses of these miracles, because they would point back to the Old Testament prophecies of just what was to be expected of Israel’s Messiah.
- Matthew 11:5 “The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached unto them.”Isaiah 35:5-6 mentions the blind, deaf, lame and dumb.
Isaiah 29:19 says that the “poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.”
Isaiah 35:8; 52:1 indicate that “no unclean thing” shall be in that kingdom, which could certainly include the cleansing of lepers.
Isaiah 26:19 and Daniel 12:1-3 refer to the resurrection of the dead, of which the restoring of life to individuals by Jesus, such as the widow of Nain’s son, which had been shown to John’s disciples already according to Luke 7:18 as an example. Thus, there should have been no doubt in John’s mind that Jesus was truly the fulfillment of the prophesied Messiah of Israel!
- Matthew 11:6 “And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.”
This is a gentle, yet firm reminder to John, that Jesus’ miracles were signs of His Messiahship, and, while it is true that not all messianic prophecy was fulfilled, Jesus wanted John not to be “offended,” literally “trapped” (from skandalidzo, the method of trapping an animal with bait on a stick). Jesus did not say, “Go back and tell John he was mistaken; there will be no earthly kingdom. We are now presenting a spiritual kingdom to be known as the Church, the Israel of God.” Not at all! It was still the kingdom spoken of by the prophets, where literal infirmities will be healed. So, John, do not be trapped into believing that the Kingdom is never to occur, simply because the judgment aspect has not begun. Christ will fulfill all the prophecies “in the fulness of time.” Do not be offended by that which is yet to come!