When Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their cities.
Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the expected One, or shall we look for someone else?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive 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 to them. And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me. Matthew 11:1-4
I don’t think I ever saw this before. That early in the ministry of Jesus with the disciples, He went to their cities to teach and preach. Why start there? Perhaps it was to confirm their calling and commitment. There was a high likelihood the disciples would be mistreated and misunderstood by their association with Jesus.
A prophet is not without honor, except in his own town. Right? What would be their reception in each of these places?… mixed I’m sure. And the faith and commitment to stay with Jesus would be tested. Meanwhile, the one of whom Jesus said ‘surely of those born among women, there has not arisen one greater than John the Baptist’, is in prison and about to lose his life.
John wants to know for sure that Jesus is the Messiah. So he sends word asking for a confirmation of both the reality that God had sent Him and that his own ministry in preparing the way, his very life calling, was successful. The answer is indirect but actually more powerful. Instead of saying ‘yes, I am’, Jesus tells John to consider the evidence and match it to scripture. The scripture spoke of Jesus and in His lifetime He would fulfill over 100 prophecies. That’s the enduring evidence we can still cling to today for hope and purpose in life.
How’s my witness in my home town? What value to I place on scripture? These are worthy of consideration today.
Lord Jesus, how fascinating that You use people like me within Your kingdom to make a difference. May today be a continuation of Your teaching and preaching in Corona, my hometown.