You are hereWhy did John the Baptist send disciples to question Jesus?

Why did John the Baptist send disciples to question Jesus?

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By Virgil - Posted on 19 October 2008

I was recently puzzled by what on the surface seems to be a contradiction regarding the account of John the Baptist sending disciples to question Jesus about his role as Messiah."Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"

I really like the dialog that follows because Jesus responds by pseudo-quoting the Prophets and claiming that he was doing those very things the Prophets said would be done.

Yet still I had to ponder on a point: why did John the Baptist "need" more confirmation??? I thought he saw the spirit like a dove "land" on Jesus at the site of his Baptism thus revealing to John that he was indeed the Son.

The only thing I can think of is that John the Baptist was just taking up another opportunity to teach his disciples about Jesus knowing that Jesus would turn around and use the opportunity to claim the witness of his works and thus fulfill even more pieces of the prophecy puzzle.

Barry's picture

Quote
Yet still I had to ponder on a point: why did John the Baptist "need" more confirmation??? I thought he saw the spirit like a dove "land" on Jesus at the site of his Baptism thus revealing to John that he was indeed the Son.
End quote.

Good point and good question.
Yes indeed John had already confirmation that Jesus was the Christ.

What John is really saying in "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" is a type of code for lack of a better term.
It means "I know that I have come in the spirit and power of Elijah so why have you not gotten me out of prison? Why am I in danger of being beheaded, and where is my "chariot" :)? If you are the Christ, and I know that you are, why are you not taking care of me?"

John is simply trying to get Jesus' attention. It is more a matter of his stating his own confusion in regards to his own predicament.
So the answer is this:
"The very least in the kingdom of heaven as a matter of inheritance is greater that the very greatest of the old system, that being John the baptist who is blessed in preparing my way."
"For those who will be the very least in the kingdom as a firstfruit sacrifice have done something that perfects those of the old system for which John is the greatest of those born of this system, because he has been blessed in preparing my way the first of the first fruits."

John as great as he is, is still logistically part of the old system even though he is functioning as an intermediary between the old and the new. And for this he must die.

Hope this made some sense.
Blessings Barry

we are all in this together

tom-g's picture

I have seen many things written by skeptics and scoffers in the past but this and the above comment by Barry is as blatant as there is.

Tom

Barry's picture

Please explain and or expound so that I may understand you statement.
Barry

we are all in this together

Barry's picture

Quote:
I have seen many things written by skeptics and scoffers in the past but this and the above comment by Barry is as blatant as there is.

Tom
End quote.

The "but this" does sound as if the very question itself by flypaper is heretical in the view of Tom.
So I very much understand this responce:

Quote:
My first post to PP and now I am encamped with "skeptics and scoffers?" Lol. Wow I must be really getting somewhere in my faith! Finally!! (sarcasm)

:)
End quote.

Relax bro. (IE. great question and great potential for profitable discussion)
Some people just have no idea how to discuss bible with others.
However before going any further, I'll await Tom's answer.

Blessings to you
Barry

we are all in this together

tom-g's picture

To answer both of you,

Quote from Flypaper "Jesus responds by pseudo-quoting the Prophets."

If that is not being skeptical and scoffing at the plain words of the scripture and even claiming the second person of the triune Godhead, the Lord who bought you, the one who was perfect and without sin was guilty of falsely quoting the prophets.

When in fact he was the one who created and called the prophets and he was the one who inspired them to write their prophecies which you claim he then falsely quoted.

If you will read the inerrant inspired words of John's testimony and the passage about some of his disciples in John chapter three, you will see that there was never a time when John was in doubt as to the identity of who his cousin, according to the flesh, was. The doubt was on the part of his disciples and he sent them to the Lord to question for their benefit not his own.

And no Barry, I did not say this was "Heretical in my view" I said it was reading the scripture skeptically and scoffing at the plain clear statements from the perception that our Lord was pseudo-quoting the prophets. Instead of reading the scripture as a believer who knows that the Lord's quotation is the ultimate meaning of the scripture and any other perception is in error.

You will find this and many other opportunities to read the scripture as a believer and not a skeptic. Even as I believe, this is the method and the error used by Tim and JL in their book. An example of their absurd skepticism concerning the scriptural record of the events of the day of Pentecost is evident with their denial that "there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven."

Their skepticism takes the form of out right denying the truth of the scriptural record. Their skepticism of the truth of scripture on this subject is found on page 146 of chapter 8 in their book. Tim and JL ask "Does this global language demand a global reading?"
The believer's answer is yes, absolutely!
Their skeptical answer to their own scoffer question is: "Were there American Indian Jews represented in Jerusalem at Pentecost? African Pygmy Jews? Australian Aboriginal Jews?

Those who are skeptics and those who have been caught by this unbelief are led to unconsciously agree there were not and the scoffer has been successful in leading others into the error of denying the truth of God's word.

To those who believe the scripture is inerrant and divinely inspired and therefore look to find truth not error in the record of Pentecost would ask the skeptic: "What proof do you have that would cause you to claim the scripture is in error? What proof do you have that there were any American Indian devout Jews? Or African Pygmy devout Jews? or Australian Aborigine devout Jews? Where do you have any proof that there were devout Jews from any other nation under heaven that were not represented by those mentioned in Acts chapter 2? Without even any reason to be skeptical why would you be?

The clear intent is to skeptically scoff at the truth of the scriptural statement without any basis or shred of a reason to doubt the truth being stated, except to try to lend credence to their presupposed fallacious doctrine of a local flood.

Flypaper, your understanding Of John, his mission and what knowledge he had should be gathered and harmonized from all of the scriptural record including even Apollos in Acts chapter 18, before you look for contradiction and a skeptical interpretation.

Barry's comments are just a random helter skelter cut and paste into his own doctrine and are in no way related to the scriptural record of John.

Tom

tom-g's picture

PS Flypaper,

Your original question for yourself is also in error. John never sent his disciples to inquire if Jesus was the messiah to come. The word messiah is a Hebrew word. The NT is written in Greek. The Greek word is Christ and that is the only word used of our Lord in the NT. The Spirit that inspired the writing of the NT knew what he had inspired the prophets to say in Hebrew in the OT. The Spirit chose not to use the transliterated Hebrew word messiah in the NT. If the record does not use the word then we should not alter it by using a different word. If you will interpret the OT according to the revelation of the mystery revealed in the NT, I think many of your questions will be cleared up.

Tom

mazuur's picture

tom,

sheeeesh man take a chill pill! What freakin' difference does it make if one refers to Jesus as the Messiah or Christ? Man, you're turning into an extreme psycho fundamentalist.

I personally thought he raised an excellent point. I have always wondered myself about John asking such a question.

Here is a guy who know he was sent by God to prepare the way for the LORD (Yahweh himself). He then knew Jesus was the one he was preparing the way for. Thus, he knew Jesus was Yahweh (God). John also knew Jesus was the Messiah. He even witnessed the Spirit of God resting on him, and God "saying" this was indeed His Son. John also went on to say that he must now fade into the background (become smaller) while Jesus became greater. Everything presented in the Scriptures make no room for John to have any doubts concerning Jesus. So, why the question while he is in prison?

-Rich

-Rich

Virgil's picture

Barry, I think the question asked by flypaper is a very good question, but I am not sure how you are getting all these conclusions out of that simple question.

Why can the answer not be simpler: John had his own doubts.. To me, John appears to have known the general time frame of the arrival of the Messiah but he did not apparently know that Jesus was the one. Just like all the others, he needed certainty, he wanted to be reassured.

Remember, the baptism of Jesus involved a voice saying "This is my Son, whom I love." The voice did not say "This is the Messiah, follow him." I imagine that to a Jew, the idea that God would become a corporeal human was despicable and outright outrageous, so perhaps even John had doubts and had no idea what "this is my Son" meant.

tom-g's picture

Flypaper,

As simple or unimportant as it may seem the difference between Christ and Messiah is profound and doctrinally important.

The use of messiah imports the OT into the NT and replaces the NT.
The use of Christ exports the NT into the OT and replaces the OT.

We do not explain the NT by the OT, we explain the OT by the NT. This was to be the work accomplished by the Paraclete when Christ sent him.

The messiah was not a real person, he was a prophetic person. The Christ was a real person that fulfilled all of the prophecies of the messiah, the prophetic person.

The creating of a false dichotomy and lack of understanding of this distinction is at the heart of the fallacies of all futurists and particularly dispensationalists. These persons acknowledge that Jesus was the Christ but that Israel's messiah has not yet come.

Try to advocate any futurist doctrines, based upon the OT prophecies not being fulfilled concerning messiah, through exporting the NT Christ into all those prophecies, according to the Lord's own words in John 17:1-5

Try to make the people of messiah to be Israel and not the church the body of Christ, by exporting Christ into the OT.

The Spirit inspired words of the NT very definitely have meanings and importance. When John was inspired to record the words spoken by our Lord, those words and the meaning of them as he used them is the explanation and true meaning that replaces any OT words or meanings. Any changes in the NT of OT language and words was deliberate on the part of the Spirit in fulfilling his assigned mission, for our edification.

Anyone who imports any OT prophecy as unfilled into the NT without any explanation of that prophecy by the Spirit in the NT, or to explain the NT is committing a very serious fallacy.

Tom

Barry's picture

Hey Virgil,
good question IMHO.

Please do see my response below as well as it ties in with the following.

I do not see John having any real doubts about Jesus. I do not see Jesus answering John as if he had real doubts about John's own clear record on the matter.
I see John as one who knew in what spirit and power he had come in from old and how that person "went out".
IMO John is saying, "where is my chariot".

If John was suddenly having doubts we can ask why now? And why now that he is hearing about these mighty works? Would not hearing of the mighty works have given further proof that John's own declaration was valid?

If John is have such big doubts now that he is obliged to send his disciples (after everything he has already said about Jesus) why does Jesus not make a bigger deal about his lack of faith? For Jesus does make a big deal about Chorazin Bethsaida who did see those might works that John had heard about in prison!

And it is in hearing about the might works of Jesus that seems to have set John "off" as opposed to "confirming" what John had already declared having been miraculously confirmed to John's eyes previously.

Just a few thoughts,
Blessings Barry

we are all in this together

Barry's picture

Well flypaper,
there comes a point when I make the choice that it is simply better to not talk with people who just simply wast my time and make an ass of themselves that leaves me free to discuss with you if you are up to it.

Now if we can bypass the ego-rant and get back to your question:

You bring up a good point IMHO.
From my perspective, here it is:

Jhn 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Jhn 1:30 THIS IS HE of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.
Jhn 1:31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
Jhn 1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
Jhn 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, UPON WHOM THOU SHALT SEE THE SPIRIT DECENDING, AND REMAINING ON HIM, THE SAME IS HE WHICH BAPTIZETH WITH THE HOLY GHOST.
Jhn 1:34 AND I SAW, AND BARE RECORD THAT THIS IS THE SON OF GOD.

Now John is in prison.

Mat 11:1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.
Mat 11:2 Now when John had HEARD IN THE PRISON THE WORKS OF CHRIST, he sent two of his disciples,
Mat 11:3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?
Mat 11:4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:
Mat 11:5 The BLIND RECEIVE THEIR SIGHT, and THE LAME WALK, the LEPERS ARE CLEANSED, and the DEAF HEAR, the DEAD ARE RAISED UP, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
Mat 11:6 And blessed is [he], whosoever SHALL NOT BE OFFEDED IN ME.

Jesus understood very well the intent of John. Jesus includes John with himself in the following passage:
"We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented."
Jesus is not speaking of John as one that needed converting. He is speaking of one who is not getting his own way.

You can almost here him say to his disciples, upon their return, "Yes but did he say anything about getting me out of prison?"

That is my view on this section of scripture.
Feel free to agree or disagree. I enjoy respectful discussion.

Barry

we are all in this together

Barry's picture

Hey fly,
You know the saying eh? You catch more flies with honey... LOL ROFL.
Never mind, just a really bad sense of humor!

Along with what you just said, IMHO a lot is going on in the following text:

Mat 11:4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John AGAIN those things which ye do hear and see:
Mat 11:5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
Mat 11:6 And blessed is [he], whosoever shall not be OFFEDED IN ME.
{IE, sorry John!}

Mat 11:7 And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

{Notice the degree in which Jesus is employing a facetious tone. IMHO such a tone was already present in the text. IMO John was using just a similar tone with Jesus.}

Mat 11:8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft [clothing] are in kings' houses.
Mat 11:9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
{Jesus is imo not handling John's alleged doubts as anything but a facetious tone. "Are you the one or do we look for another" is IMO facetious communication. Jesus said, "But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment?" John said, ""Are you the one or do we look for another".
The simple answer IMO is this is how they communicated very often and it is evident in the text.

But Jesus is making some addition points about John and himself. John's "decrease" is attached to that "age". Similar to why Moses himself did not go into the "promise land". The old does not get into the new. John was aware of this on the surface but not it's full meaning.}

Mat 11:10 For this is [he], of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
Mat 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater {prophet} than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven IS GREATER THAN HE.

{IMO this means that John is not "classified as a "firstfruit". IMO the thief on the cross was! John's perfection so to speak would be through the firstfruits saints just as all those that had proceed John.}

Mat 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
Mat 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
Mat 11:14 And if ye will receive [it], this is Elias, which was for to come.
Mat 11:15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

JMO,
Blessings Barry

we are all in this together

flannery0's picture

Barry, I agree.

It is important to remember John was awaiting his beheading. Who among us here can even imagine what that would be like? I dare say, no one.

Furthermore, it is significant that in answering him, Jesus quoted Isaiah. The same book John quoted when declaring his purpose and mission. A book with which he was very familiar. And his disciples were no doubt familiar with it as well, which is why Jesus' quotation of it was perhaps for their benefit even more so than for John's.

Tami

Barry's picture

Had not seen that particular "Isaiah" connection in their communication with each other.
Interesting point Tami, concerning their underlining "nuances" in their communication with each other.
[Perhaps "nuances" is not the best word but it's one that came to mind :)]

Barry

we are all in this together

flannery0's picture

I actually think the word "nuance" is very appropriate with regard to the way *we* read the New Testament; because of our mindset, we aren't as naturally "tuned in" to the Old Testament connections. But those 1st century Jews were all about their Old Testament scriptures. So, what reads like a nuance to us was certainly not lost on that audience, and it was also very deliberately spoken. The significance of Old Testament prophecy to our understanding of the New Testament really cannot be overstated (and that is of course true in reverse as well).

Blessings,
Tami

Barry's picture

Quote:
Furthermore, it is significant that in answering him, Jesus quoted Isaiah. The same book John quoted when declaring his purpose and mission. A book with which he was very familiar. And his disciples were no doubt familiar with it as well, which is why Jesus' quotation of it was perhaps for their benefit even more so than for John's.
End quote.

Tami,
In addition to this (your above points) and what has already been said about the text itself, as well as John's very clear declaration about Christ, is John's OWN "tone" toward those who did not and would not believe.

If John is truly doubting the very identity of Christ [more of a problem IMO than the doubting of Thomas] we then have to deal with his own tone toward those who did not and would not believe through the then still coming (as of yet in Matt. 3:12) might works.

Mat 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and [with] fire:
Mat 3:12 Whose fan [is] in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
Mat 3:13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
Mat 3:14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
Mat 3:15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer [it to be so] now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
Mat 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
Mat 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Everything to the point has John as "unflinching".
Do we now have the "messenger" failing?

Luk 7:27 This is [he], of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

Is Jesus now speaking as if John was not beginning to finally fail? Not in my opinion.

However if we see John's question as facetious this IMHO answers well the text and the setting.

I believe that we can also see Christ's responce to John in the same "tone".

Luk 7:21 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.
Luk 7:22 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.
Luk 7:23 And blessed is [he], whosoever shall not be offended in me.

JMO
Barry

we are all in this together

Barry's picture

Hi Philip
Quote:
Barry, would you mind explaining what you mean by the messenger failing? I'm not following this unless you are talking about John's humanity being trodden upon by the harsh realities of prison. Is that what you mean by failing?
end quote.

Yes, I'm certainly known for not always being very clear. :)

My point is that Jesus is commending John throughout the context as one that was steadfast, unwavering, and committed to his part or role as described in the OT. That being that he was NOT a failing messenger, who was once steadfast, but now doubting.

So I'm emphasizing to point that we were not supposed to take John's "are you the one or should we look for another" as John "doubting" the identity which he had already confirmed to the hilt, but was rather being facetious in his communication with Jesus. He was trying to get Jesus' attention.

Clearly John is distressed in prison. But not as one doubting as such. He is simply not expecting his "role" to end like this. Jesus seems very much to have understood the question behind the question and his reaction imo confirms it.

If he was then doubting then he would have been doubting his own early points which he was very steadfast and clear about. That being that this was the Christ the Lamb of God that he had tried to refuse to Baptise because He was greater than himself.

Communication is often cultural. And this facetious way of speaking was IMO very common at that time. They would say something facetiously to make another point or ask another question.

"can he enter the second time into his mother's womb" This is not to be read as a stupid question by Nicodemus but a way of communicating. Meaning, "how can I be born of the seed of Abraham again?"

"What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?"

"But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft [clothing] are in kings' houses."

"who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come" Like they didn't know!

"for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham" Meaning Gentiles.

"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?"

Rom 2:17 Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,
Rom 2:18 And knowest [his] will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;
Rom 2:19 And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness,
Rom 2:20 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.
Rom 2:21 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?
(with)
"Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,)"

It was not always used as a sarcasmism. It was also very much a way of communicating IMO.

Just a few thoughts
Barry

we are all in this together

markedward's picture

I think that John, being human, may have had some doubts... John lived very 'straight'. He had a sort of fire-and-brimstone style of teaching, and lived a very ascetic lifestyle (some believe John may have been a Nazirite). Jesus, on the other hand, was kind of the opposite; while He certainly did point out the consequences of sin ("fire-and-brimstone"), He placed a huge emphasis on compassion and mercy on sinners.

Likewise, it's possible that John, like many others, expected the Messiah (and thus, Jesus) to be the conquering ruler who would sweep away the Romans from out of the country. Instead, Jesus is pushing out a "non-violent resistance" as some would say, so John could very well have wondered, "This is the Messiah? I thought we were to expect someone powerful and conquering?" This type of belief is evident even in Peter, when he declared his belief that Jesus was the Messiah, but refused to believe that the Messiah was supposed to be killed.

So it's very possible that John had one expectation of a Messiah, being the same one that many others had, and when he saw what Jesus was doing and that it was opposite to the popular expectations, he wanted to make sure, "Hey, I didn't make a mistake in thinking You were the Messiah, did I?"

And so Jesus pointed out, "See what I do? I heal the sick, I make the blind see, the dead are given life, and the good news is taught." The things He did could only have come from God, so He was saying that His works were the evidence that He truly came from God, and thus He was the Messiah.

Barry's picture

Hey Mark,
Nice to converse with you.

Quote.
He had a sort of fire-and-brimstone style of teaching, and lived a very ascetic lifestyle (some believe John may have been a Nazirite). Jesus, on the other hand, was kind of the opposite; while He certainly did point out the consequences of sin ("fire-and-brimstone"), He placed a huge emphasis on compassion and mercy on sinners.
End quote.

I think that you are correct that there are two different styles (my term) here.

Mat 11:17 And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.
Mat 11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, {IE "mourned unto you"} and they say, He hath a devil.
Mat 11:19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, {IE "piped unto you"} and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

John's approach was law based. Christ's approach was more grace based, but both had the same message that being if one knew how to read the law.

John understood the meaning or implications of repentance and what that meant in that time and setting. "think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to [our] father"

He saw a new era coming and he knew that a change of mind and heart was in order that one be not "hurt by" the coming end.

The fire and brimstone that he taught spoke to the principle that the old did not obtain the new.

Jesus took things much further along the grace line. Of course he was equipped to do so. But John also was very close behind in preparing the way. He told Roman (I presume, could be wrong, wouldn't be the first time, won't be the last) solders somewhat their expectations to be firstfriuts "followers".

Luk 3:14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse [any] falsely; and be content with your wages.

You gotta really feel for John. Transformation does not come easy and he is stuck right in the middle of it!

Quote:
Likewise, it's possible that John, like many others, expected the Messiah (and thus, Jesus) to be the conquering ruler who would sweep away the Romans from out of the country.
End quote.

That is possible I suppose but do we have any real evidence that such might have been the case?
IMHO we have evidence that John sent his disciples at the news of Christ's "mighty works". Seems to me that he really was not doubting Christ's identity but wanted a might work to get him out of his predicament.
This way we need not compromise in any way any of his previous declarations concerning the "Christ" and his identity.

Quote:
So it's very possible that John had one expectation of a Messiah, being the same one that many others had
End quote.

Possible but we have no evidence IMO that such was the issue.
John understood better IMO the implications of repentance that did the diciples during the ministry of Christ. Meaning that they needed to repent from the thinking of the old system.
Jesus' point is how "great" he is and thus how effect he was in preparing his way.

The problem IMO has more to do with John's then present predicament and how he saw things from that predicament. Meaning then, "Why have you not gotten me out of prison, have I not been faithful as Elijah was?"

JMO
Blessings
Barry

we are all in this together

Barry's picture

Hey Philip
Quote:
Also, the notion of "repentance" seems to apply to the above analysis because these people were prompted to "turn" from their way- which was to abide in the Law.
Quote.

Just not quite grasping the "which was to abide in the Law" statement.

If you don't mind:)

How do you see "Repentance" as used, by John the Baptist and Christ or could you rephrase the above statement or expound on it please.
Just interested :)

Barry

we are all in this together

Barry's picture

Quote:
Sorry if that is a rather loose answer to your question.
End quote.

Not at all Philip.
My own view is that "repentance" was a turn, or change of mind, from an independent human potential which was headed up in "the law".

Along with this IMHO "repentance" as taught by Christ and John the baptist predominantly or characteristically preceded belief. IE, they could not see to believe because they could not see beyond a change their mind.

Mar 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
Mar 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

I find this verse both fascinating and revealing:
Mat 21:32 For John came unto you IN THE WAY OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen [it], repented not afterward, THAT YE MIGHT believe him.

What you wrote clarified (to me) your original meaning.
We might find that we have some common thoughts along these lines.

Your points on Galatians and such did ring very clearly to me.

Nice to converse
Barry

we are all in this together

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