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December 2, 2018

“Head of St. John the Baptist” by Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov (c. 1847), Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Photographer Yorck Project (PD-Art, Old-100)

“…[T]he Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1: 78-79).

The prophet, Isaiah, spoke of the Messiah as opening the eyes of the blind, and bringing the prisoners from darkness out into the light (Is. 42: 7).  Jesus healed the blind (John 9: 6-7), intentionally referring to Himself as the light of the world (John 9: 5).  The apostle, John, pointed out that no one since the beginning of the world had restored sight to those born blind (John 9: 32).

You may remember that John the Baptist, before he was beheaded, asked of Jesus from prison:

“ ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ ” (Matt. 11: 3).

In response, Jesus directed the Baptist’s disciples:

“ ‘Go and tell John the things which you hear and see:  The blind see 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’ ” (Matt. 11: 4-5).

The Baptist would have understood that these were signs associated with the Messiah, and drawn comfort from them.  Having immersed Jesus in the Jordan, John was never in any real doubt.

The Dayspring from on high had visited. The Dawn all mankind awaited had arrived.

Originally posted 12/15/13


From → Christian, Faith, Religion

  1. Anna, Thanks for sharing this. The exchange between Jesus and John the Baptist has one more interesting point I would like to share.

    To his inquiry, “Are you the one, or are we to seek another,” the last part of Jesus’ reply to him was, “…and blessed is he who is not offended in me.” People who were healed were not offended in the miracles that Jesus did among them, so where is the offense? John, like most of the Jews, believed that the Messiah would come to set up an earthly kingdom and break not only the yoke of the Romans upon them, but do away with their puppet kings and rulers over the people of Israel. John was waiting for Jesus to depose Herod and set him free from his prison and it wasn’t happening. He knew that his time was running out.

    Many people come to Christ believing that He will make everything better and easier for them in this new life, but Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world. He is more intent on changing us internally in our hearts than He is in making things comfy for us in this world. In fact the more things are going our way in this life, the less we surrender our whole hearts to Him. This is where our personal way of the cross enters in. So, upon finding out that things often get worse in our worldly lives after coming to Christ, many of us start asking Him, “Are you the One or should I seek another?” And many fall away from a surrendered life to Him and do just that. There are many false Christs and false teachers who feed on this seeking of another as they turn their backs on Him. To these Jesus says,
    Blessed is he who is not offended in me.”

    And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matt 24:10-13, ESV2011)

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