30 Look at your Messiah

Luke 7:24-35
Ecclesiastes 12:1-2
T Misunderstanding of the people

 We have heard that the last time text, 7:18-23, was the testimony of John for Jesus. The text of this morning which follows, 7:24-35, is testimony of Jesus about John.

 Two messengers carried a message of John and came. "Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?" (20) When they met Jesus, it seems that Jesus was at the height of such a work, "At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil sprits;" (21). The question of John, it was the thing which wished that Jesus stood up as the Messiah early, and there was not seen any doubt at all; but perhaps, there was a possibility that people had heard that John might have doubt to Jesus. The text of this morning, it begins, "And when the messengers of John had left, He began to speak to the multitudes about John. 'What did you go out into the wilderness to look at?'", (24); but, the testimony of Jesus about John may have been started from it. Because, the misunderstanding of the people was not only for it.

 Jesus said. "What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who are splendidly clothed and live in luxury are found in royal palaces. But what did you go out to see? A prophet?" (24-26) These three questions of Jesus seem to see how was the expectation of the people for John. Primarily, Jesus said that you were disappointed (the flip of expectation) to John who was arrested and had been confined to the prison by Herod. Because they expected John whether he was the Messiah, would they were disappointed to his weakness that had been defeated by power of world? "A reed shaken by the wind", it seems that it is saying such people's outlooks on John. Secondarily, it seems that Jesus stares at the figure of the people expecting that "if John causes reform in the Jewish society, we will be able to wear a soft clothing and it comes to be possible for our luxurious living...". However, John is not the person who has been sent for such a thing. Jesus said, "If you want to obtain such a wish, you should have gone to the palace.", and pointed out for the direction which they were heading was wrong.


U Messiah of the promise

 Thirdly, Jesus pointed out that they expected John would be a prophet, and had gathered around him enthusiastically. This "prophet" did not have the definite article (the definite article is used to the Messiah called the prophet), so, a nuance which is one of the prophets is felt; and it passed a long time of 400 years since prophets were cut off from Israel. For the people who desired the appearance of the prophet (or, the Messiah) earnestly, it would be good for them, even though someone became the leader of them temporarily. In this time, a large number of "Messiah" appeared and disappeared; so, if the people had heard "that person will be the Messiah" or "This person is genuine one", they gathered around to that person immediately. To the people who expected John would be the Messiah or a prophet, and who crowded, it seems that such momentary expectation and doubt have mixed.

 Is John a prophet? "Yes, he is.", while affirming their expectation, Jesus continued it. "Yes, I say to you, and one who is more than a prophet." (26) The expectation to John of the people was an earnest thing, but it was only the light thing which will disappear someday. Perhaps, they would be dissatisfied to the Messiah who expected but not yet come. Jesus answered so to them. Jesus clarified a mission of John, "John is the one who is more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, 'Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.'" (27, Malachi 3:1). In other words, the Messiah comes, because John has come. And John disappeared from before the people. He has finished serving "to prepare the way for the Messiah". Because, the Messiah has come. Therefore, you will understand that this testimony of Jesus is not for John, but it is the testimony that Messiah of the promise has come here. It was the declaration of the One who is the Messiah, too.


V Look at your Messiah

 By the way, Jesus was training apostles now. When we hear testimony to John, while remembering that it is the Messiah declaration of Jesus Own, we will be able to understand the words which continue somehow, I think. "I say to you, among those born of women, there is no one greater then John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he." (28) He was able to say in this way, because Jesus was the only head of the country of God. And, the disciples (the modern believers also) who heard these words must have thought that the most small person was oneself, among the people who was invited to the country of God. However, it is said that such people are superior than superior John, even if such people are tax-gatherers. And also He declares that we are the person superior than John, even though we committed a so big crime and cannot put up our face, because we are invited to the Gospel of Jesus. How it is honored!

 Eyes of Jesus were poured again to the people who surrounded. "And when all the people and tax-gatherers heard this, they acknowledged God's justice, having been baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God's purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John." (29-30) Many annotators are pointing out it will be a question of Jesus to choose two way of life here; and surely it will be able to hear it will be such a question. However, a problem is left. From three first questions, we've heard that misunderstanding to John is hiding behind the people; but, it seems that Jesus may have accused their disbelief, in pointing out it so. When such people took Baptism of John, it can hardly think that "they admitted God is right". In the first place, God is the One who can not live in the crafty correctness of human beings. The Baptism that John gave was a thing to prepare the way before Jesus who is the Messiah, for repentance; but it seems to be heard from such sharp indication of Jesus that the people and Pharisees are equally punishable.


 It becomes clear still more in the next phrase. "To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children who sit in the market place and call to one another; and they say, 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.' For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine; and you say, 'He has a demon!' The Son of Man has come eating and drinking; and you say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man, and a drunkard, a friend of tax-gatherers and sinners!'" (31-34) In a market, children play innocently. Would they sing a then popular song? Jesus who loves children would look at play of such children well. You totally look like them. You are not reacting even if I press you for repentance, and you are not pleased even if you hear the Gospel. Such their way which demands same sense of values to Jesus and John, it falls on to the way of life of modern people at the same time terribly, don't you think so? "Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children." (35) The wisdom, it is about Jesus and John and points out the domain of God, and "all her children" will be people of faith. At the such end time that believers of God are invited to His country, so that we do not regret it, while Jesus opens both hands, shall we become a dependent under a wing of the Messiah?