On today’s Bible Answer Man broadcast (08/06/21), Hank finishes the last few verses of Matthew chapter 10 before moving on to chapter 11. Jesus had finished instructing His disciples and went to preach in the towns of Galilee, “When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’” (Matthew 11:2-3 NIV). Why in the world would John question the reality of Jesus as Messiah? The answer lies in expectations. John was suffering Herod’s notorious prison indignities despite the fact that Messiah had arrived on the scene of history. Surely, the heavenly righteous king Jesus would overthrow the earthly wicked king Herod! But Jesus had not come to establish a Jewish theocracy. He had come to inaugurate the kingdom of heaven. Mercy was his mission. Judgment would come soon enough. In the meantime, the message of Jesus was mercy. As Jesus himself put it in verses 4-6, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” What Jesus in effect was saying is that He was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. This was the ultimate report of Good News to John the Baptist. Mercy was the message of Messiah then, and it continues to be the message of Messiah today.

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