“John wants to know. Are you the One, or do we wait for another?”1Matthew 11:3, Luke 7:19
I can just see the heads snapping up when Andrew asks my question. Eyes glancing sideways. The buzz of the crowd falling off. Did we hear right? Hasn’t John been telling us this Jesus is the Lamb of God?
My question began when I told Herod to send his brother’s wife back to his brother — and instead, the king threw me into prison.
So last month I was shouting to the crowd about the Lamb of God, but no crowd collects here in Herod’s hole.
Last month I watched a dove land on the Messiah, but from here in the dark, it could have been a shadow across my cousin’s face.
Last month I heard a voice from the sky, “This is my son!” But down in here the only thing coming from above is cockroaches.
The glory scenes fade. Was the whole idea a mistake? So I ask Andrew and his friend to push through the crowd. Everyone hears Andrew’s question, so Jesus makes sure everyone hears his answer — and it’s facts on the ground.
“Look around you. The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor hear good news. Tell John what you hear and see.”
Ha! My cousin knows I’ll recognize Isaiah’s descriptions of the Messiah.2“Then will the eyes of the blind be opened (35:5). The Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor (61:1).”
While my two thread their way back out through the throng, Jesus asks the crowd, “Remember when you were going out to see John in the wilderness?”
He has everyone’s attention.
“What did you go out to see, anyway? The wind making patterns on the reeds? A man in an expensive suit?”
The crowd smiles.
The Promised Messenger
“No, you hoped to see a messenger, didn’t you! And in John you got more messenger than you were looking for.”
The smiles turn quizzical, and Jesus tells them, “This John is the Messenger Malachi promised would prepare the way. If you will receive it, he is the Elijah who was to come.”