2. John heard in prison about the works that Jesus did and, sending the message through his disciples,
3. He asked: “Are you the One who is coming, or do we need to wait for someone else?”
4. Jesus answered them in reply: “Go and declare to John the things which you hear and see.
5. Blind people are seeing and lame people are walking around and dead people are raised from death and very poor people have the good news preached to them.
6. And blessed is the person who does not take offence at Me.”
In this passage, John the Baptist sends a message through his disciples to Jesus, asking Jesus whether He truly was the Messiah. Jesus defends His ministry as follows (v 5)
“Blind people are seeing and lame people are walking around and dead people are raised from death and very poor people have the good news preached to them.” This is what He used to emphasise to John that He really was the Messiah.
I believe that these elements are essential for ministries that model themselves after the teachings of Christ. Many times, I have heard these miraculous things explained as if they were metaphorical. That is, most pastors or Christian churches would accept that Jesus literally performed His miracles, and people were literally given the gift of sight etc. However, when it comes to blind people being healed in our own churches, Christians will sometimes say that this miracle is performed today when we were blinded by our sin, and then the light of Christ came in, so that we could see. Similarly with being lame ( “We were shackled to our past…Christ removes those bonds….”) etc. I think the thinking itself is what is lame, extremely so. I believe that in our churches we should hold God to His promises that He has made to us in the Bible. So is He God, or isn’t He? Can He still heal physically, or can’t He? If He managed it effortlessly 2000 years ago, then what could have changed since then?
Remember, these were the signs that Jesus held up as “proof” to John that He was the Messiah, and they are the signs that we are following the true Messiah today.
Photo of Chessboard by Obsidian Photography on Pixabay