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In his book “The Quest for the Mes­si­ah”, J. Paint­er explores the seeth­ing and con­fused expect­a­tions of the first cen­tury and why John con­sider these so sig­ni­fic­ant and import­ant for any under­stand­ing of human life in the world. John places the search for the mes­si­ah at the incep­tion of the Gos­pel (cf. John 1:19–51). In John 1:19–20, the search for the mes­si­ah is clearly indic­ated. Here also, we find for the first time the Jew­ish term maµsûia gen­er­ally trans­lit­er­ated mes­si­as and nor­mally trans­lated in Greek as Chris­tos (cf. John 1:41). The numer­ous events of John 1:19 show that the desire for a Mes­si­ah was wide­spread among vari­ous groups of people. It is in this con­text that we have to under­stand the inquiry which John the Baptist asked his dis­ciples to make con­cern­ing the advent of the messiah.

Who is the Messiah?

Jesus had just begun his mes­si­an­ic activ­ity in Galilee when Herod Anti­pas (ruler of Galilee) imprisoned John the Baptist who rebuked him for an illi­cit mar­riage (cf. Matt 4:12; 14:1–12). Jesus’ deeds/works (Greek: ta erga) are in line with that of the expec­ted mes­si­ah and so, John the Baptist though in pris­on, wanted to know more con­cern­ing the iden­tity of Jesus as regards the mes­si­ah. Jesus’ deeds were made known to John the Baptist through his dis­ciples (cf. Luke 7:18). To the ques­tion: “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect/wait for anoth­er”, Jesus did not give a cat­egor­ic­al answer. That is, he did not answer yes or no. Instead, he asked the two dis­ciples to go back to their mas­ter (John the Baptist) and report to him what they heard and saw. That is, they should go back to him and tell him that “The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news pro­claimed to them.” (Matt 11:5). This is a full real­iz­a­tion of Jesus’ pro­gram as enun­ci­ated in Luke 4:18–19.


Have you recog­nized the Mes­si­ah? Have we recog­nized the Saviour? Or are you still search­ing for him? The Baptist’s atti­tude of send­ing his dis­ciples to Jesus to find out if he is the Mes­si­ah or not, should not sur­prise us. Like the Jews, he also had his per­son­al expect­a­tions of the Mes­si­ah. There is some­thing strange about Chris­ti­ans. They believe in God and at the same time, they do not believe. Like the dis­ciples of Jesus, they are the same that believe and the same that equally doubt (cf. Matt 28:16–17). One of the attrib­utes of God is omni­pres­ence. But many Chris­ti­ans believe there are par­tic­u­lar places to go so as to obtain God’s bless­ings and the so-called mir­acle. And this atti­tude leads to many queer things and behaviours.

SUNDAY REFLECTIONS” (vols. I‑II-III)!! The reflec­tion for the 3rd Sunday of Advent is found in
The Word of Life, vol. I, pages 21–27. Happy reading!

For details on how to get it, con­tact the author on this link: https://m.me/uchennabiblia?fbclid=IwAR2yeg4a6sDGBp9QGkIvKj6FSADumMokN6lshdE0zuo-JHs6qOmlhA7jyHo
or email me at: postmaster@uchennabiblia.com
or simply send an SMS on 08116100926, and I will get back to you.

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