December 14, 2016 - The Approach of a Loving God

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.”

Luke 7:18-23

At first glance, it appears Jesus is referring to his ability to perform magic to prove he is the messiah.  But, in fact, he is referring to Isaiah’s prophecies:

The Lord’s Spirit is on me,
because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives
and release to those who are bound,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
to comfort all who mourn. (Isaiah 61:1-2)


Behold, your God will come.
He will come and save you.
Then the eyes of the blind will be opened,
and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.
Then the lame man will leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute will sing;
for waters will break out in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert. (Isaiah 35:4-6)

What’s more, Isaiah was not describing the messiah’s miraculous powers in these passages (although he does appear to describe a messianic figure at Isaiah 7:10-14, 9:6 and chapter 53).  In the first passage, it appears Isaiah is simply describing himself and his prophecy.  By referring to these passages, Jesus appears to be identifying himself and the age itself as a time when God will comfort an afflicted, exiled people.  What is extraordinary is not the performance of magic, but the approach of a loving God.

Image: Photo by Missy Grasso