4 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: 5 The blind see 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. 6 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” — Matthew 11:4-6.
John, through his disciples, had asked Jesus, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” (v.3).
Jesus answers John’s question about Himself by making John’s disciples witnesses of His miracles that directly fulfill Isaiah 35:5, 6. “The blind see 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.” (v.5).
Then Jesus says, “blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” (v.6).
This verse might be rendered, “Happy is he to whom I shall not prove a stumbling-block.” That is, happy is he who shall not take offence at my poverty and lowliness of life, so as to reject me and my doctrine. Happy is the one who can, notwithstanding that poverty and obscurity, see the evidence that I am the Messiah, and follow me. It is not improbable that John wished Jesus publicly to proclaim himself as the Christ, instead of seeking retirement. Jesus replied that he gave sufficient evidence of that by his works; that a man might discover it if he chose; and that he was blessed or happy who should appreciate that evidence and embrace him as the Christ, in spite of his humble manner of life. [Barnes.]
Jesus’ response to John’s question, involves an affirmation that He was also fulfilling another set of Scriptures (see Isaiah 61; Luke 4:16-21). Jesus proclaims that something unprecedented was happening. He points to His miracles and adds that the poor, through His preaching hear and experience the Gospel. So Jesus concludes by saying, “blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” Jesus would live out the Messianic prophesy according to His own rules, thus fulfilling the Scriptures which motivated Him and His ministry, not according to some preconceived notion of what a messiah must do and be.
May we see Jesus as He truly is.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.