We begin in part two of Journey 20, where two messengers are sent to Jesus from John the Baptist. We read of this in Matthew 11:2-19; Luke 7:18-35, where Jesus is still around Galilee. John the Baptist was the son of Zacharias and Elisabeth born about six months before Christ was.
Being in prison, John the Baptist didn’t know much about Jesus’ Ministry, which, likely upset him. Some reports he thought to be inaccurate, and some reports made John ponder if Jesus was really the Messiah he foretold.
However, Jesus sent word to him that He was ministering relief to the oppressed, which was foretold of Jesus the Messiah in the Old Testament. Of course, this was not the typical Messiah; one to bring political victories as the old messiahs would of the Old Times. Jesus, therefore, promised a special blessing for those who understood His Ministry and did not lose heart.
To prevent people from speaking harsh of John, because of the questioning, Jesus remarked many things of John the Baptist:
- He was great
- Was not weak in character
- Was not uncertain of himself
- Was not easily swayed by people’s opinions
- Did not seek comfort
- Did not seek prestige, power, awards, etc.
- He was a Prophet as many of the Prophets who endured hardship
- A man of endurance.
Nonetheless, John was the last and greatest predecessor Prophet before the Messiah; however, because he belonged to that era, he is less blessed than the humblest believer that enters the Messiah’s Kingdom.
In preparing the way for the Messiah and the entrance of the Kingdom of God, John was the “Elijah” of whom the Prophet Malachi spoke of (Malachi 4:5).
Those that believed and obeyed the preaching of John were pleased to hear Jesus’ remarks of him; however, the religious leaders that hated John couldn’t care less, to which, they were just even angrier.
Jesus turns His attention to the people of His day, to which, they are as many children playing in the streets with no cares. A lively wedding game or a slower funeral game would not be satisfying. The Jews were like such children, who criticized John, because he followed strict rules about food and drink, and lived as a hermit would in the desert.
After that, they criticized Jesus, because He had no rules on food and drink, and would honestly and proudly associate with disreputable people in their regions. However, God had a purpose in sending John and Jesus in their separate callings and styles. God’s Wisdom did have proof in the changed lives of those who accepted their messages.
What can we learn from this?
The Messiah’s “political victories” that He was supposed to have were not physical, Earthly victories; rather, they were Kingdom of God victories, ones that won souls for the Kingdom of God. This is His Ministry to be understood of helping people pass from death to Life, sin to Righteousness, darkness to Light, etc. He also asked John to trust Him, and we should be doing the same in trusting Him!
In addition, when people make remarks about us, persecute us, etc., Jesus will be there to defend us and call us what we truly are, to which, we are Righteous in Him! The multitudes are unconcerned about what happens to their souls; however, we must attend to God’s Word and build up our souls, so that we can help save those that are dying!
Unbelief is all around us, and there are plenty of people to save. Those who believe in Christ, their faith will be found to be praiseworthy of honor and glory to God—which is a sweet-smelling savor to God!