March 16th Jesus - John the Baptist
18: And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things. 19: And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? 20: When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? 21: And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight. 22: Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. 23: And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. 24: And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? 25: But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts. 26: But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. 27: This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 28: For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. 29: And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. 30: But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. 31: And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? 32: They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept. 33: For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. 34: The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! 35: But wisdom is justified of all her children.
Jesus heals a sinful woman
36: And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. 37: And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, 38: And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 39: Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. 40: And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. 41: There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. 42: And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? 43: Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. 44: And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. 45: Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. 46: My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. 47: Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. 48: And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. 49: And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? 50: And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
Some say that John was loosing his faith, but l don’t think this. I think that John was checking again that Jesus was the Christ just to be sure again in his own mind. This is not doubt, this is seeking further reassurance. What was the response? Christ said go and tell John, - how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised; to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. The Jews understood that when the Messiah would come he would do miracles which were far greater than ‘ordinary’ miracles in which any man could perform if he were empowered by the Holy Spirit. The miracles were termed messianic signs because only one would be able to do them the Messiah himself. The first was the healing of a man born blind. The second was the healing of a man who had been lame from birth. The third was the cleansing of a leper, the fourth was the raising of a man dead for more than four days, and lastly the Messiah would preach specifically to the poor. All these Messianic signs Christ performed. This was the confirmation John sought he was no doubt blessed by this news. Then Christ spoke to the people about his estimation of John. With humour, Christ says did you go all the way into the wilderness to see one stalk of grass shaking in the wind? Or maybe you went out into the wilderness to see somebody clothes in fine clothes? The answer of course is no. Christ then says, you went to hear a prophet, but l will tell you that he was more than just a prophet; he was the Prophet that would come in fulfilment of scripture to prepare the way of the Messiah. He was the greatest Prophet this world has ever seen. Incredulously the religious leaders rejected John’s ministry. One of the Pharisees invited Christ to dinner so that he might have a closer look at him. At the meal a sinful woman came and washed Christ’s feet with tears and wiped his feet with her hair and anointed his feet with ointment. She was abused but Christ defended her and rebuked the discourtesy of the Pharisee Simon. Christ taught Simon the real meaning of this event by the use of a parable of two men who owed money and were forgiven.
- What answer to the Lord send back to John?
- What did the Lord have to say about John?
- Why did this woman come and what was her reward?