29 The One who gives off brilliance

Luke 7:18-23
Isaiah 61:1-3
T The last testimony

 "And the disciples of John reported to him about all these things." (18) This John was John the Baptist, but his disciples reported it to John without leaking a trend of Jesus most very much. John who heard it sent two disciples to Jesus some other time.

 John was confined to the fort of Machaerus at this time. There was a fort for the battles that Herod the Great rebuilt an old fort as a defense line to Arabia; but, son Herod Antipas obtained it, and remade it as the palace for play. It was such a villa to which only favorite people were often taken and spent the spree at there. Originally, it was a fort for out-of-the-way battles, and because it was on the precipitous cliff which was 1,200m from the Dead Sea surface, John who was moved from Tiberia would seem to have spent comparatively free confinement life. His disciples often came for a meeting, and John was also able to invite them. Luke writes down the confinement of John in Chapter 3 and has interest to a trend of John; "But when Herod the tetrarch was reproved by him on account of Herodias, his brother's wife, and on account of all the wicked things which Herod had done, he added this also to them all, that he locked John up in prison.". (19-20). In the story of Jesus whom he wrote, Luke evaluated John highly, as the one he was sent from God, and as the one who fixed the way before Jesus. Though it seems to be immediately before Jesus's starting working at Galilee(Mark 1:14), Luke stares at John by extremely cool eyes, there is no turn of him any longer because Jesus has come. It seems Luke is saying that John should be a disappearing person after indicating Jesus.

 Since he granted Baptism to Jesus, John paid attention to the trend of Jesus, this One might be the Messiah, but Jesus does not show the sign to stand up at all, though there is not a lot of time. Because he felt strong hatred of Herodias, he predicted that the execution would be near. Possibly, would John think even if He is not a leader of the military struggle that the coming Messiah leads the people, He will be the One who finishes an ideal kingdom? I think that it was responsibility consciousness for God of John who is going to carry out duty as a person fixing the way before the Messiah till the last; he sent his two disciples to Jesus who does not achieve self-introduction as the Messiah. Luke takes it as the last testimony that John can accomplish about Jesus, but, though he is telling about John, however in Luke, the center at time is Jesus to the last.


U As the One who was sent from God

 Perhaps, in the information of disciples that reported a trend of Jesus many times, it seems that there would be information including the rumor, mainly on the thing that they have heard His sermon directly and witnessed it. Even after considering about them, John was not able to throw away the doubt, "Why?", because Jesus must be the Messiah. John sent the disciples and let them ask Jesus, "Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?". The question, "Are You the Expexted One?", is a frank thing, but, in a question to continue "Do we look for someone else?"; it is felt a sad feeling of John, "It will be you". Whether Jesus is the Messiah, or not, Jesus Himself has that answer; John does not doubt it in the least. He does not deny that Jesus is not the Messiah. But he has a fret, and while repeating a question like a complaint, he promotes a start of Jesus. "It is me who disappear soon. Please stand up as the Messiah early, and show me that figure."

 However, John did this question extremely formally while having slight uneasiness in his heart. "Two disciples" which only Luke wrote down; we should watch that this is the official messenger whom a public person sends. They declared, "John the Baptist has sent us to You." (20). Some disciples of John approached Jesus until now also; and there were the people who became the disciples of Jesus like Peter and Andrew. However, it was the first to make clear that they were the disciples of John and were sent by him. And Luke (only Luke) let them repeat this question of John when they met Jesus, faithfully; it seems that while showing respect to John as a public person who was sent by God, Luke recorded these messages of John twice, daringly.


V The One who gives off brilliance

 Before Jesus answered, Luke inserted this phrase. "At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He granted sight to many who were blind." (21) The part of that wonder is the article of the healing (7:1 -10) of servant of centurion, and of a young man who was revived at the town of Nain (7:11 -17). They were sake of the training of disciples; but, Luke would write down it as a meaning of a foreshadowing which related to the question of John the Baptist. In the answer of Jesus following, there are much "miracles"; but, it seems that Luke wrote down it as a speaking which contained parenthesis of his own inimitableness which was seen everywhere.

 Jesus answered to two disciples of John in this way. "Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel. Preached to them." (22) This is the Messiah declaration of Jesus, however, whether they receive Jesus as the Messiah or not, it will be entrusted to judgment of the people who heard the Gospel and watched the work Jesus did. We human being seems to live in egocentrism to hear only what we want and to see only what we want. We want to hear what we want and we want to look at what we want; it may be our special ability. To such us, Jesus declared that "I am Christ, your Messiah" and did a question, "You believe Me?". If we watch what we should watch, we can understand that Jesus is that One. Our eyes which watch Jesus, it should be our faith. The words of Jesus, "And blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me." (23); we must hear it in this sense.

 There is it in Isaiah in this way. "And on that day the deaf shall hear words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see. The afflicted also shall increase their gladness in the Lord, and the needy of mankind shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel." (29:18-19); "Then the eyes of blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb will shout for joy." (35:5-6); "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners;" (61:1) These testimony are the agreement with Jesus's word completely, don't you think so? However, Jesus did not assume the Messiah declaration by brandishing many miracles. Those wonders arrive at the words of the prophet, and give off brilliance for the first time. Because, it came out of the words of God. The re-appearance of John here would be the testimony that Jesus was the genuine Messiah evidenced by words of God. John left; however the words of God cannot stop testifying that Jesus is the Messiah even now. We want to hear it carefully.