Rev. Joel Heckmann, pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Okarche, OK, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Luke 7:18-35.
After John the Baptist had preached against Herod’s adultery, the wicked king had put John in prison. Having been imprisoned for some time, John sends messengers to Jesus. If Jesus really was the Christ, why would John still be in prison? John wants to know if Jesus really is the Coming One; he does the right thing with any doubt he has by asking Jesus. The Savior graciously answers John by pointing to the deeds and preaching that He had been doing, calling John and all who hear to trust in Him as the Christ. When the messengers go back to John, Jesus teaches the crowd that John was the forerunner of the Christ, and in that way, the greatest born among women. Yet everyone who shares in the faith of John in the good news of Jesus receives the same gift of resurrection and eternal life. The tax collectors received this as good news, while the Pharisees and lawyers rejected John and Jesus alike. Jesus acknowledges this reality and chides the crowd for it, all the while pointing them to the fact that He will be vindicated as the true Savior.
“The Beloved Physician’s Orderly Account” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the Gospel according to St. Luke. The Evangelist wrote his well-researched account of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection so that Theophilus would have certainty concerning the things he had been taught. As we still read the Word of God recorded by St. Luke, our gracious Lord gives us that same certainty that Jesus is our Savior.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
Messengers from John the Baptist
18 The disciples of John reported all these things to him. And John, 19 calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 20 And when the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?’” 21 In that hour he healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind he bestowed sight. 22 And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers[a] are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. 23 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
24 When John’s messengers had gone, Jesus[b] began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 25 What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who are dressed in splendid clothing and live in luxury are in kings’ courts. 26 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27 This is he of whom it is written,
“‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way before you.’
28 I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” 29 (When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just,[c] having been baptized with the baptism of John, 30 but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.)
31 “To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another,
“‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’
33 For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35 Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.”
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org