Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Luke 7:18b-23: Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?

 At that time,
John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask,
"Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?"
When the men came to the Lord, they said,
"John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask,
'Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?'"
At that time Jesus cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits;
he also granted sight to many who were blind.
And Jesus said to them in reply,
"Go and tell John what you have seen and heard:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear, the dead are raised,
the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me."

In this passage we see a genuine question being asked of Jesus. During Jesus' time this must have been a hot topic because it is asked in Luke exactly word for word twice. Here, like in the other synoptic gospels, there is some confusion as to who is Jesus' identity. Disciples from John the Baptist's community appear to be wondering if Jesus is the Messiah and what his relationship is to John the Baptist. Here Jesus makes it very clear, he is curing the blind, raising the dead, and cleansing the sick. In other words he is the messiah as depicted in the Old Testament. The reason this passage is often used in Advent is because, John the Baptist, is the forerunner to the messiah. During Advent we are not only preparing for the Birth of Jesus, we are preparing for Jesus to return in glory in the Escaton.

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