18 The disciples of John reported all these things to him. And John, 19 calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 20 And when the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?’” 21 In that hour he healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind he bestowed sight. 22 And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. 23 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
When John sent his own disciples to ask Jesus if he was the Messiah to come he was in prison with the threat of death knocking at his door. He knew from the prophecies given to his parents that he was to be the forerunner of the Messiah, that he was the one who would proclaim the coming of the Messiah and see him come to claim his kingdom. John had baptized Jesus knowing that he was the one to come. He saw the Holy Spirit come in the form of a dove to rest on Jesus and heard the voice of the Father come from heaven – “this is my son.” But now John had doubts, he was unsure, he didn’t see any evidence of the coming of the kingdom of God. But John was confused, like many of the Jews in his day who expected the kingdom to come with power to overthrow the Roman government, but that was not the kind of power that was evidenced in Jesus ministry. When the disciples of John come Jesus returns them to John with the message of the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, those possessed are set free, and good news is preached. The evidence that Jesus was the Messiah was the number of miracles he did for no one had ever performed so many verifiable miracles in all of human history. The power of the kingdom of God in Jesus day and in ours is the preached Word of God and how people are brought from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. The power is in the foolishness of preaching Christ crucified which the world finds weak and absurd, but it is the power and wisdom of God. Those who are not offended by the weakness of this message will turn to Christ for salvation, but those who cannot accept a Savior who dies will forever reject him and live out their rebellion forever in hell. Let’s not doubt like John, but have confidence in the weakness of our Savior to save through the preaching of good news to the poor and to all who will hear.