ESOCS Devotional 9 June 2023
MEMORY VERSE: “Jesus answered and said unto them, go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, the lame walk and the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” Matthew 11:4-5
TEXT: MATTHEW 11:2-15
2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,
3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?
4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:
5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
7 And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.
9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Sometimes, we are compelled by situations around us to question matters of the faith which are well known to us: Does God still answer prayers? Is that revelation from God? If so, why has it delayed? Are Bible promises true? Is heaven real? Is hell real? Is there really God of justice and killers are getting away unpunished? Recently, some yahoo boys were quoted as saying that church is scam. So much goes through a troubled mind to provoke such questions.
John the Baptist was hurled into prison at the Black Fortress of Macherus by Herod Antipas, for warning that Herod’s marriage to his brother, Philip’s wife was a sin. As the fore-runner of Christ who baptized Jesus and confirmed that Jesus is the Christ, as the Prophet who after the baptism saw the heavens opened unto him and saw the Spirit descending upon Jesus like a dove and lighting upon him, and as the one who heard the voice from heaven saying, “this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3: 16-17). The question as to whether Jesus is the Christ was not expected from John. Knowing all that is written in the law and the prophets about the Christ, and hearing of his wondrous works, John must have no doubt in expecting Jesus to come to his rescue, but no, that did not happen and was not going to happen.
In the midst of that dim reality and imperfection of human knowledge, John asked: “Are you the one to come or should we expect another?” Jesus’ reply implies that the works he is doing should tell John that he is the Christ, namely: “the blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the gospel is preached to the poor” (vs. 5).
Yes, those are some of the prophesied pointers to the Christ and his kingdom. A prominent passage is Isa. 35: 4-6, “Say unto them that are of a fearful heart, be strong, fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with recompense; he will come to save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing, for in the wilderness shall waters breakout and streams in the desert”.
- Do you still have doubts and fears? Cast them out and believe in the all sufficiency of Jesus Christ as you say this prayer:
- Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief and quicken my faith in you.
FURTHER READING: Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Isaiah 29:18; 61:1-3; John 3:16
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ESOCS Devotional 9 June 2023