John the Baptist sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus if he was, “He who is to come.”
Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” (Acts 19:4) So when John spoke about “He who is to come” he was speaking of Jesus.
John was looking for the Christ for his role was to prepare the way for the Christ and so he was looking for him. But since he taught the people to believe in “He who was to come,” he wanted to be certain that he could direct his disciples in the right direction so that they were not led astray.
When John’s disciples came to Jesus enquiring whether he was the Christ, Jesus made a point not just to tell them but to prove it by the words and works he performed.
Any con man who is slick with their speech would pull the wool over the eyes of the unsuspecting. They beguile with smooth and cunning words and the weak are taken in.
But Jesus did not take that path. In the hour that John’s disciples came to him he healed the sick, cast out demons, healed the deaf, cleansed lepers and raised the dead. This was proof positive that Jesus was “He who is to come.”
The Bible says that these miraculous signs were for the purpose of bearing testimony to the word of the gospel of truth. This was shown in Mark 16:20 saying, “And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it.”
So in the same manner Jesus confirmed that he was speaking the truth of the gospel and that he was the one who was to come not just by words but through absolute proofs of the power and authority of God working in and through him.
John the Baptist bore witness to Jesus as being the Christ and the Son of God. When Jesus sent John’s disciples back, they had no doubt and nor would John that indeed Jesus was and is the Christ.
Today we too can be assured that Jesus is the Christ through the testimony of John and the other disciples and Apostles whose word can be trusted. If that is not enough we can go to the Lord himself for he still reveals himself to man through his words and the power of God. He may not walk among us as he did two thousand years ago, but his power and authority is still among us today.
The great blessing in the words that Jesus spoke to John’s disciples was not in the miracles and signs that he performed. It was in the statement that the poor have the good news preached to them. Signs and wonders and miracles will not last forever, but the word of God and the good news of the gospel does last forever. That is the real blessing in these words and it lasts down to this day.
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