Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sunday Knox for 3rd Sunday of Advent: Matthew 11:2-11

 Now John had heard in his prison of Christ’s doings, and he sent two of his disciples to him;  Is it thy coming that was foretold, he asked, or are we yet waiting for some other?  Jesus answered them, Go and tell John what your own ears and eyes have witnessed;  how the blind see, and the lame walk, how the lepers are made clean, and the deaf hear, how the dead are raised to life, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.[1]  Blessed is the man who does not lose confidence in me.  As they went out, Jesus took occasion to speak of John to the multitudes; What was it, he asked, that you expected to see when you went out into the wilderness? Was it a reed trembling in the wind?  No, not that; what was it you went out to see? Was it a man clad in silk? You must look in kings’ palaces for men that go clad in silk.  What was it, then, that you went out to see? A prophet? Yes, and something more, I tell you, than a prophet. This is the man of whom it was written, Behold, I am sending before thee that angel of mine, who is to prepare the way for thy coming.[2]  Believe me, God has raised up no greater son of woman than John the Baptist; and yet to be least in the kingdom of heaven is to be greater than he.[3]

Knox Notes:
[1] Is. 35.5.
[2] Mal. 3.1; where, however, our text reads, ‘I am sending my messenger (or angel), who is to prepare the way before me’.
[3] St John the Baptist, as the final product of the old Dispensation, is less than the least of those who enjoy the blessings of the new. Like the Patriarchs, he only looked forward to the world’s redemption as something that lay in the future (verse 13) by the light of hope (Heb. 11.13), and died before its accomplishment (Mt. 13.17), instead of being able to press into the Kingdom of heaven like the common sort of Christians (verse 12).


When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ, he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”  As they were going off, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine clothing? Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces. Then why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you. Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

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