The Ministry Continues ~ Part 2
We continue our study of The Ministry Continues, beginning in Luke 7:11-17.
A Widow’s Son Is Raised
11 The next day, Yeshua, accompanied by His talmidim and a large crowd, went to a town called Na’im.
Na’im means “pleasant” in Hebrew; the Greek here is Nain. An Arab village near Natzeret retains the ancient name.
12 As he approached the town gate, a dead man was being carried out for burial. His mother was a widow, this had been her only son, and a sizeable crowd from the town was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her and said to her, “Don’t cry.”
Luke calls Yeshua the Lord here to point up the significance of this miracle.
14 Then He came close and touched the coffin, and the pallbearers halted. He said, “Young man, I say to you: get up!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Yeshua gave him to his mother.
Gave him to his mother, the citation from the Tanakh reminds us that the entire story resembles Elijah’s raising from the dead the son of the widow from Tzarfat (see 1 Kings 17:17–24).
16 They were all filled with awe and gave glory to God, saying, “A great prophet has appeared among us,” and, “God has come to help His people.”
A great prophet has appeared among us. The people’s reaction is the same as that of the Tzarfat widow. From this miracle, readers can conclude that (at the very least) Yeshua is as great a prophet like Elijah.
17 This report about Him spread throughout all Y’hudah and the surrounding countryside. ~ Luke 7:11-17.
The Ministry Continues ~ Part 2
18 Yochanan’s talmidim informed him of all these things. Then Yochanan called two of His talmidim 19 and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come? Or should we look for someone else?” 20 When the men came to Him, they said, “Yochanan the Immerser has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come? Or should we keep looking—for someone else?'” 21 Right then, He was healing many people of diseases, pains, and evil spirits and giving sight to many who were blind. 22 So He answered them by saying, “Go, tell Yochanan what you have been seeing and hearing: the blind are seeing again, the lame are walking, people with tzara’at (leprosy) are being cleansed, the deaf are hearing, the dead are being raised, the Good News is being told to the poor – 23 and how blessed is anyone not offended by Me!” ~Luke 7:13-23 (see Mattityahu 11:2-6).
Yochanan the Immerser, apparently discouraged by being put in prison after having announced Yeshua as the Messiah, asks, Are you the one who is to come? – the one who will put an end to political oppression and get me out of jail? The question is in code, for the phrase, the one who is to come, would be clear only to those acquainted with Yochanan’s teaching. Had they asked, “Are you the Messiah?” it would have been more difficult for Yeshua to send an answer to Yochanan without revealing His identity, which He was not yet wanting to do.
Yeshua’s answer is also in code. He refers to prophecies in the book of Isaiah of six signs which the Messiah will give when He comes: He will make the blind see (Isaiah 29:18, 35:5), make the lame walk (Isaiah 35:6, 61:1), cleanses lepers (Isaiah 61:1), make the deaf hear (Isaiah 29:18, 35:5), raise the dead (implied in Isaiah 11:1–2 but not made specific), and evangelize the poor (Isaiah 61:1–2). Since He has done all these things (see Mattityahu chapters 8–9), the message should be clear: Yeshua is the one; Yochanan need not look for another.
In our next post, we continue to explore The Ministry Continues in Luke & Mattityahu’s Gospel.