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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke

PART 3 - JESUS' MINISTRY IN GALILEE (Luke 4:14 - 9:50)

10. The Delegation of John the Baptist, Jesus' Answer, and His Testimony of the Baptist (Luke 7:18-35)

LUKE 7:18-23
18 The disciples of John told him about all these things. 19 John, calling to himself two of his disciples, sent them to Jesus, saying, “Are you the one who is coming, or should we look for another?” 20 When the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptizer has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you he who comes, or should we look for another?’” 21 In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits; and to many who were blind he gave sight. 22 Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John the things which you have seen and heard: that the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 23 Blessed is he who finds no occasion for stumbling in me.”

The reports about the wonderful works of Jesus spread, even into the dark cells of Herod’s prison. John the Baptist who baptized Jesus, and saw the Spirit descending on the Lamb of God, thought too much about Christ, Anointed with the Spirit, and looked forward to his appearance as a Victor and King who would reform the nation, and change the face of the world. At the same time, he hoped that Jesus would release him from the deadly prison, for he thought it was impossible for the Lord to abandon his forerunner who had confessed him openly when nobody knew him. John expected a gesture of gratitude from Jesus.

The people of the Old Testament waited for Christ. Some of them wanted him as a political hero, and others as a powerful teacher. All thoughts centered on the person of the coming Christ, the Judge of the world who raises the dead. John wanted Jesus gradually to declare himself openly to be indeed the Christ. Therefore John sent two of his disciples to ask him about that, for he believed in him, but had doubts. He wanted to extinguish these doubts that troubled him during his long wait in the deep prison.

However Jesus preached and healed many people. The word, “many” which is often found in our reading, indicates the greatness of the love of Christ, his merciful kindness, and indefatigable mighty power. Did you ever reflect on the significance of Jesus’ healing many of the blind only by an utterance of his mouth, without any operation? None but the Creator can open the eyes of men and give them sight after their long darkness. Imagine the joy that came to the blind when they were endowed with eyesight! How the people praised God aloud! How their eyes must have treasured that first sight of Jesus, and retained of his exceptional sweetness into their innermost depths at first glance! Dear brother, Does Christ’s image have the deepest impression on you? Do you see him in his love, kindness, power, mercy, and work as the Savior of the world and the servant of all? Has Christ become the model of your life, the sign-post for your future, and your saving Redeemer?

Christ answered John’s messengers, “Tell him who is imprisoned all what you see and hear, for this is in fact the kingdom of God that flourishes among you. I have not come with sword, money, and pomp; but with forgiveness of sins, driving out demons, and raising the dead.” Please think once again, my dear brother: Who can forgive sins? Who is he that is stronger than the devil? And who can take the prey out of the mouth of death? God alone is the Almighty, and Christ stands before you in the authority of his Father, God from God. Light from light. True God from true God, in one essence with the Father.

John expected another Christ: a champion who judges and manages. But Christ was embodied love. His power became great in the faith of the weak. The poor hear the gospel. They hold fast to the Savior who saves them, and brings them into the kingdom of God, overcoming the temptations of hell. Christ made clearer to John’s messengers that he does not change situations, but the hearts of the repentant; and he reconciles those who are prepared to God. He does not force the adulterer into everlasting life. He who seeks an earthly savior may choose an earthly Caesar, king, or leader; and fall with him into fire. But he who longs for a heavenly Christ, must take part in his contempt, death, and life; and be with him from today in Paradise.

Jesus blessed all those who accept the meekness of the Lamb of God. Whoever asks Christ for such things as promotion in office, school, allowances, and reputation, soon stumbles; but whoever repents, seeks only love, and forgets himself, enters into the kingdom of God, and abides in the power of his love. Thus Jesus put before John the choice that he might believe in his divinity, especially when he did not release him from prison.

PRAYER: O Lord, forgive us if we take more interest in earthly things than in your kingdom and righteousness. Open our eyes to your loving kindness, and the joy of your glory, that we may see you, worship you, and tell people that you are God the Lord who leads us to deny ourselves.

QUESTION 58: What do we learn from Jesus’ deeds and words?


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