3 Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; 4 say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. 6 Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. 7 The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
8 And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it.
Matthew 11:1-6 (GOD’S WORD Translation)
1After Jesus finished giving his twelve disciples these instructions, he moved on from there to teach his message in their cities.
2When John was in prison, he heard about the things Christ had done. So he sent his disciples 3to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who is coming, or should we look for someone else?”
4Jesus answered John’s disciples, “Go back, and tell John what you hear and see: 5Blind people see again, lame people are walking, those with skin diseases are made clean, deaf people hear again, dead people are brought back to life, and poor people hear the Good News. 6Whoever doesn’t lose his faith in me is indeed blessed.”
One of my favorite movies of the recent past is Braveheart, in which Mel Gibson portrays the Scottish knight and landowner William Wallace who led the Scottish rebellion against the English king, Edward I. This depiction from the Scottish Wars of Independence depicts events that occurred over 700 years ago, during the late 1290's and early 1300's.
The true story of William Wallace wasn't as heroic as was shown in the movie, but he was an iconic figure none the less. What is important here is that the movie was able to take us back to a time in the distant past, and when we compare it to our modern age in 2011, we see realize just how long ago 700 years really was.
I bring this up to illustrate the difference between the time that the prophet Isaiah wrote about the characteristics of the Messiah, and the time that Jesus Christ embodied those characteristics. The prophecy we read from Isaiah was written over 700 years before Jesus walked the dusty roads of Judea and fulfilled in spoken word an deed.
Jesus made this statement of confirmation that He was who Isaiah was writing about, when asked by John the Baptist if He was the One, the long awaited Messiah. John would go to his death with the comfort and knowledge that he had fulfilled his obligation to God, preparing the way for the Savior.
Here again we see Jesus Christ, the Messiah, our Savior and our God, fulfilling prophetic Scripture from the Hebrew Bible written centuries before His time on earth. Why not place your faith in the One, as John the Baptist did?
Photo "Hands" by Zoofy The Ji, 2-10-2007, from stock.xchng