These verses open up with the reminder that Jesus just sent His disciples out with His authority to heal people from all disease and to cast out demons. We are told that John the Baptist was in prison and sent his disciples to question Jesus about His identity. There are so many things that could be written about in these verses, but I want to point out more of what Jesus had to say about John. Jesus gave a message to send back to John that would confirm He was the Messiah, but He also addressed the crowd about John.
Jesus knew that there were a lot of opinions going around about Himself and John the Baptist. Jesus explained to the crowd that John was the prophet Elijah, fulfilling prophecy. Everyone knew that the coming of Elijah meant that the Messiah would be coming. Jesus didn't tell John's disciples that He was the Messiah; instead, He used more prophecy to confirm His identity. Jesus knew that John would understand what was being said. In the same way, Jesus didn't tell the crowd that He was the Messiah; He used John's true identity to speak to the crowd. They knew the prophecy and would have understood that if John was Elijah then Jesus was the Messiah.
This is an interesting thing to think about. Don't you think it would have been easier to just say to everyone, "I am the Messiah"? But, perhaps Jesus knew that no matter what He said about Himself, people would have their own opinions even though they didn't know Him. Jesus chose to speak of the fulfillment of prophecy and allowed them to think through all that they knew about the prophecy of the Messiah to decide whether or not they would believe Him. Jesus pointed out that no matter what He or John did, there would be those who would judge their actions. Jesus told them that, "wisdom is shown to be right by its results," (Matthew 11:19, NLT). So, what do you see in the results? Do you see a crazy man who died for nothing, or do you see a Creator who desperately wanted to save us? I choose to believe that our Creator came to sacrifice Himself in order to give us life with Him.
What do you believe?
This post is linked with Word Filled Wednesday.