18 The disciples of John told him of all these things.19 And John, calling to him two of his disciples, sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 20 And when the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, `Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?'” 21 In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many that were blind he bestowed sight. 22 And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. 23 And blessed is he who takes no offense at me.”
Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 45:6-8, 18, 21-25
6: that men may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other. 7: I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe, I am the LORD, who do all these things. 8: “Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation may sprout forth, and let it cause righteousness to spring up also; I the LORD have created it. 18 For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it a chaos, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the LORD, and there is no other. 21 Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. 22 “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. 23 By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: `To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.’ 24 “Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; to him shall come and be ashamed, all who were incensed against him. 25 In the LORD all the offspring of Israel shall triumph and glory.”
Meditation: How do we know that Jesus is who he claims to be, the Son of God, Messiah, and Savior of the world? Is our faith a blind leap we must take without certainty or proof? John the Baptist sends his disciples to question Jesus about his claim to be God’s anointed Messiah. Did John have doubts about Jesus and his claim to divinity? Not likely, since John revealed Jesus’ mission at the River Jordan when he exclaimed, Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). John saw from a distance what Jesus would accomplish through his death on the cross – our redemption from bondage to sin and death and our adoption as sons and daughers of God and citizens of the kingdom of heaven. John very likely sent his disciples to Jesus because he wanted them to hear and see firsthand for themselves the signs and proof that the Messiah had indeed come in the person of Jesus Christ.
The miracles which Jesus performed and his message about the kingdom or reign of God directly fulfilled what the prophets had foretold (see Isaiah 29:18-19; 35:5-6; 61:1). Isaiah had prophesied that the Messiah would come in the power of the Holy Spirit to bring freedom to those oppressed by sin and evil (see Isaiah 61:1-2). Jesus came to set people free from the worst tyranny possible – the tyranny of slavery to sin and the fear of death, and the destruction of both body and soul. God’s power alone can save us from emptiness and poverty of spirit, from confusion and error, and from the fear of death and hopelessness. The gospel of salvation is “good news” for us today. Do you know the joy and freedom of the gospel?
“Lord Jesus, you are the fulfillment of all our hopes and desires. Your Spirit brings us grace, truth, life, and freedom. Fill me with the joy of the gospel and inflame my heart with love and zeal for you and for your will”.
8 Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
9 Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.
10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
12 Yes, the LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before him, and make his footsteps a way.