Summary: In this lesson we learn that all of the Old Testament predictions were fulfilled in Jesus and, therefore, he is really the Christ.
For the past year or so we have been examining the life of Jesus as it has been recorded in the Gospel of Luke. This past Lord’s Day we looked at the incident regarding Jesus’ meeting with messengers from John the Baptist in Luke 7:18-35.
John burst on the public scene as an extremely popular preacher. He had been called by God to prepare the way for the coming of the Christ. John drew incredibly large crowds to his ministry in the desert region around the Jordan River. He was a fiery and passionate preacher who proclaimed a message of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He even reproved King Herod for unlawfully marrying his brother’s wife. Because of this, Herod had John thrown into prison.
And there John sat and languished. He had preached faithfully and prepared the people for the coming of the promised Christ. He heard about the amazing ministry of Jesus who by now was himself drawing massive crowds to his ministry. Jesus healed countless thousands of people and preached good news to poor, captive, oppressed and spiritually blind sinners.
But after being in prison for about 6 or 8 months, John began wondering whether Jesus was in fact the promised Christ. Part of the problem was that John, like most of the people in his day, expected a Victorious Christ. He expected that when Christ came he would overthrow all injustice and unrighteousness and set up his glorious kingdom. John did not understand that the Christ would actually come twice. Christ’s second coming will be as the Victorious Christ. However, Christ came as a Suffering and Sin-bearing Christ during his first coming. John’s misunderstanding about the purpose of Jesus’ first coming led to the question he had about the identity of Jesus.
And so Luke records John sending the following question to Jesus in Luke 7:18b-19:
18 . . . . And John, 19 calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (Luke 7:18b-19)
Jesus’ reply to John is fascinating. And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them” (7:22). By pointing John to the miracles he was performing and the message he was proclaiming, he was reminding John of several Old Testament predictions that would accompany the arrival of the Christ. Passages such as Isaiah 26:19 and Daniel 12:2 point to a future resurrection of the dead associated with the advent of the Christ. Similarly, Isaiah 35:5-6 associates healing of the blind, lame, and deaf with the Christ, while Isaiah 61:1 describes the preaching of the good news to poor, captive, oppressed, and spiritually blind sinners as the message of the Christ.
Jesus could have highlighted many more Old Testament predictions that found their fulfillment in him as proof that he was indeed the Christ.