Gospel: Matthew 11:2-15
Epistle: James 5:7-11
Lesson: Isaiah 35:1-10
Psalm: Psalm 146
CLB Commentary – Rev. David Rinden
The Gospel of Matthew answers the question, “Who Is Jesus?” Matthew’s answer is plain. Jesus is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament; and He is the King of Israel.
Questions, however persisted. Was Jesus really the Messiah promised in the Old Testament. John the Baptist raises this question in the first verse of this text: “Are you the one who was to come or should we expect someone else?”
John told his disciples to go to Jesus with this question, most likely to answer their nagging doubts. If John was in prison could his message be right? John invited them to go right to the source for the answer of their doubts.
And Jesus doesn’t disappoint. He quotes Isaiah—“Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”
With this answer John is affirmed; and the disciples received the answer to their doubts. When life goes well it is easy to trust God. But when life is tough, trust in God can easily be laid aside. Then it is hard to trust in God’s word. Unbelief sets in.
Jesus didn’t seem to fit the mold of what people expected of the Messiah. They expected judgment. Jesus came with mercy. There will in time for judgment. But now grace is proclaimed.
Therefore, the preacher would do well to emphasize the mercy of the Messiah and the wonderful day of grace that is ours yet today. Advent preaching, while not excluding a call to repentance, will point to the one who takes away the sin of the world.
We will be tempted to be offended with Jesus. But coming to Christ with our doubts will take away the offense.