Luke 7:24
And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak to the people concerning John, What went you out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(24-35) And when the messengers of John were departed.—See Notes on Matthew 11:7-19. The two narratives agree very closely. The few variations will be noticed as they occur.

7:19-35 To his miracles in the kingdom of nature, Christ adds this in the kingdom of grace, To the poor the gospel is preached. It clearly pointed out the spiritual nature of Christ's kingdom, that the messenger he sent before him to prepare his way, did it by preaching repentance and reformation of heart and life. We have here the just blame of those who were not wrought upon by the ministry of John Baptist or of Jesus Christ himself. They made a jest of the methods God took to do them good. This is the ruin of multitudes; they are not serious in the concerns of their souls. Let us study to prove ourselves children of Wisdom, by attending the instructions of God's word, and adoring those mysteries and glad tidings which infidels and Pharisees deride and blaspheme.See this passage explained in Matthew 11:2-19.Lu 7:18-35. The Baptist's Message the Reply, and Consequent Discourse.

(See on [1592]Mt 11:2-14.)

Ver. 24-28. See Poole on "Matthew 11:7", and following verses to Matthew 11:15, where we met with this testimony concerning John, given by our Saviour, with some considerable enlargements. And when the messengers of John were departed,.... The Syriac and Persic versions read, "the disciples of John"; and the Arabic version, "the two disciples of John"; the two that he sent, when they were gone back with the answer of Christ;

he, "Jesus", as the Persic version expresses it,

began to speak unto the people concerning John; not caring to say any thing about him to the messengers, or whilst they were present, lest he should be charged with flattery; See Gill on Matthew 11:7.

What went ye into the wilderness for to see? a reed shaken with the wind? an inconsistent, wavering, and unstable man? if so, they were greatly mistaken; or the motions and gesture of the man? See Gill on Matthew 11:7.

{4} And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

(4) That which the prophets showed long before, John shows presently: and Christ himself presents it daily unto us in the gospel, but for the most part in vain, because many seek nothing else than foolish toys and vain glory.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 7:24-30. Encomium on the Baptist.24. when the messengers of John were departed] We notice here the exquisite tenderness of our Lord. He would not suffer the multitudes who had heard the question of John to cherish one depreciatory thought of the Baptist; and yet he suffers the messengers to depart, lest, while hearing the grand eulogy of their Master, they should be pained by its concluding words. It is natural to suppose that the two disciples carried back to John some private message of peace and consolation.

A reed] John was not like the reeds which they had seen waving in the wind on the banks of Jordan, but rather, as Lange says, ‘a cedar half uprooted by the storm.Verse 24. - And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John. When the messengers of John were departed, the Lord, fearful lest the people who had been standing by and listening to the question which the Baptist had put, and his answer, should entertain any disparaging thought of a great and sorely tried saint of God, spoke the following noble testimony concerning that true, faithful witness. It has been termed the funeral oration of John; for not long after it had been spoken he was put to death by Herod Antipas. What went ye out into the wilderness for to see A reed shaken with the wind? The imagery was taken from the scenery in the midst of which John the Baptist had principally exercised his ministry - the reedy banks of Jordan. It was surely to see an everyday sight - a weak vacillating man blown to and fro with every wind. John, though his faith failed him for a moment perhaps, was no wavering reed. To see (θεάσασθαι)

Rev. is correct but awkward, to behold. The verb implies steadfast, intent gazing. See on Matthew 11:7.

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