|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:2-6 Some think that John sent this inquiry for his own satisfaction. Where there is true faith, yet there may be a mixture of unbelief. The remaining unbelief of good men may sometimes, in an hour of temptation; call in question the most important truths. But we hope that John's faith did not fail in this matter, and that he only desired to have it strengthened and confirmed. Others think that John sent his disciples to Christ for their satisfaction. Christ points them to what they heard and saw. Christ's gracious condescensions and compassions to the poor, show that it was he that should bring to the world the tender mercies of our God. Those things which men see and hear, if compared with the Scriptures, direct in what way salvation is to be found. It is difficult to conquer prejudices, and dangerous not to conquer them; but those who believe in Christ, their faith will be found so much the more to praise, and honour, and glory.
Verse 4. - Jesus; and Jesus (Revised Version, with even the Received Text). Answered and said unto them. He makes no verbal self-defence, but appeals to the effects of his work. Observe that a similar appeal to effects of the same character as those mentioned here - restoration to normal powers and bringing spiritual truths home to the poorest - is still the great argument for the Messiahship of Jesus. Go; go your way (Revised Version); πορευθέντες (cf. ver. 7). And show John again; and tell John (Revised Version); for ἀπαγγέλλω does not in itself contain the idea of bringing word in answer to an inquiry, but merely emphasizes the source or place from which the message comes (Matthew 8:33; cf. Bishop Westcott on 1 John 1:2, 5). Those (the, Revised Version) things which ye do hear and see. Observe that in Luke
(1) the order of the verbs is reversed;
(2) the tense is not the present, as here, but the aorist, the miracles being regarded from the point of time when the disciples had returned to John. The present tense in Matthew brings out what St. Luke had already indicated by his preceding explanatory verse that the messengers arrived when the Lord was actually performing miracles.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Jesus answered and said unto them,.... Not by an express declaration, that he was the Messiah that was to come, and they were not to look for any other; but he bids them
go, and show John again, those things which ye do hear and see. Christ would have them go back to John in prison, and relate to him the doctrines which they had heard preached by him to the poor; and the miracles which they had seen with their own eyes, then wrought by him; as well as many others, which were attested to them by credible witnesses; for there were at that time about Christ, that had infirmities, plagues, and evil spirits, and that were blind, and he instantly cured them in their presence; see Luke 7:21.
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