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Matthew 11:2-11

The Word of God

When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, "Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?" Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me."

Matthew 11:2-11
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Two strands run right through the Scriptures whenever people wonder what approach will be taken when the Awaited Of The Lord finally arrives to rule the world. In one strand the dominant idea is that the Messiah will focus on chastisement and correction - where corruption has grown, he will lay an axe to the root of the tree; or he will come armed with a winnowing-fan to separate-out the noxious elements from the good. Although not imposing a regime of penance as such, John the Baptist insisted on high moral standards; and so he might seem to veer towards the stricter view.
    • John is unsure, apparently, about the approach taken by Jesus – so he is making inquiries. And the answer of Jesus recalls that other strand where the dominant idea is building up people wherever they are in need of healing. All the miracles listed here are in line with the prophetic vision of Isaiah – where strength and salvation is brought to the people. Having celebrated a Year Of Mercy, we will have often recalled this particular vision.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • It seems that Jesus’ programme is not quite what John had expected. Jesus devotes himself to healing and to acts of compassion. These are to be the definitive signs of the breaking in of God’s reign. Jesus trusts John to understand.
    • God’s ways are not our ways. God is not predictable. We must be alert to ‘the signs of the times’ and accept the fact that God seems to live easily with change, and enjoys doing ‘new things’ (Isaiah 48:6).
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • "Go and tell what you hear and see: ... the blind receive their sight ..."! What do I see and hear? Do I see the signs of God's kingdom breaking through in the world around me? What does it look like?
    • If I don't see any positive signs, why not? Do I need to look again, or look differently? Am I somehow looking for 'soft robes and royal palaces' when God is offering me a prophet?
    • When he says that the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John, is he including me?
    • There is real comfort in this story. John the Baptist, the powerful, austere man who held such a sway among the Jews, still had his moments of darkness. Imprisoned in Herod’s dungeon, he wondered: /Am I a fool? Is this all there is? Was I wrong about Jesus?/ He does not just brood on the question. He sends messengers to Jesus. And Jesus does not send back reassurances; he just asks the messengers to open their eyes and see the evidence of Jesus’ life.
    • Lord, in my moments of doubt and darkness, may I fill my eyes with you.
    • Great as John was, we see that he did not live with pure certainty. He followed in faith even as he allowed good questions to be asked. I pray that I may ask the right questions and, like John the Baptist, always direct them to Jesus.
    • Jesus does not answer with a statement of authority but points to his actions. I show who Jesus is to me by the way I live, by how I affirm and help the weak and poor.