Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities. And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” — Matthew 11:1-5, NKJV
Jesus, when asked for proof that He is the King of Kings, that He is the promised Savior, responds by listing the miracles He has performed.
The last item Jesus lists in His response to John’s messengers is the one that seems, for me anyway, to stick out the most — “the poor have the gospel preached to them.”
What? Why lump this in with the other things? Surely the poor hearing the gospel can’t be equated with giving sight to the blind or life to the dead?
But Jesus responds to this important question by listing the ways that He has fulfilled the prophecies written about Him.
The Old Testament tells us that the Savior will bring sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf.
The Old Testament tells us that the Messiah will raise the dead and help the lame walk. And it tells us that the Messiah will bring salvation to the poor.
Folks, don’t overlook this important line in Jesus’ answer. It’s not there by mistake. It’s not there as an afterthought.
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This is Jesus’ way of telling us that it is divine to bring the gospel to the poor. And it’s the one miracle that we can perform today.
If you think about it, bringing the gospel to the poor IS bringing life to the dead, sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf. This is the miracle that changes lives for eternity!