The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 39

The Ministry Continues ~ Part 3

We continue our study of The Ministry Continues, beginning in Luke 7:24-30.

Yeshua Praises Yochanan the Immerser

Once Yeshua answers Yochanan’s questions, He goes on to praise him.

24 When the messengers from Yochanan had gone, Yeshua began speaking to the crowds about Yochanan: “What did you go out into the desert to see? Reeds swaying in the breeze? 25 No? Then what did you go out to see? Someone who was well dressed? But people who dress beautifully and live in luxury are found in kings’ palaces. 26 Nu, [1] so what did you go out to see? A prophet! Yes, and I tell you, he’s much more than a prophet.

Yochanan was not only a prophet; he was the forerunner to the Messiah.

27 This is the one about whom the Tanakh says,

‘See, I am sending out my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.’ [2]

28 I tell you that among those born of women, there has not arisen anyone greater than Yochanan the Immerser! Yet the one who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he!” ~ Luke 7:24-28

Yeshua emphasizes the superiority of God’s Kingdom, contrasting heavenly greatness with earthly greatness. Yochanan was great because he had prepared for the Messiah; now the Messiah and His Kingdom are here, offering a far more excellent ministry of righteousness.

12 From the time of Yochanan the Immerser until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been suffering violence; yes, violent ones are trying to snatch it away. 13 For all the prophets and the Torah prophesied until Yochanan. 14 Indeed, if you are willing to accept it, he is Eliyahu, whose coming was predicted. 15 If you have ears, then hear!  ~ Mattityahu 11:12-15 [3]

29 All the people who heard him, even the tax-collectors, by undergoing Yochanan’s immersion acknowledged that God was right; 30 but the P’rushim and the Torah-teachers, by not letting themselves be immersed by him, nullified for themselves God’s plan. ~ Luke 7:29-30

Verse 30 refers to a rejection of God’s plan for salvation. Yochanan’s baptism had announced a new era in God’s redemptive work – the coming of the Messiah and the inauguration of the Kingdom of God.

In our next post, we continue to explore The Ministry Continues in Luke & Mattityahu’s Gospel.

Click here for the PDF file.

[1] Nu. A general-purpose Yiddish word meaning variously, “Well?” “So?” “Indeed!” “I challenge you,” or, as in this case, “If not that, then what?” – with many possible inflections and overtones.

[2] Malachi 3:1

[3] As I shared before, F. LaGard Smith intersperses readings from the Gospel accounts in chronological order.

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