July 5, 2020, Matthew 11:7-19 – Post 3 – ISSL Reflections

As we pay attention to this passage one more time, notice what Jesus asks –

“What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? …
… What then did you go out to see? …
… What then did you go out to see? ” (Matthew 11:7-9)

What draws our attention? And once something has our attention, what do we see? Do we see only what is obvious on the surface? Do we see what we expect to see? Or, are we able to look more deeply, more clearly and perceive more accurately? Or maybe that is too hard?

Jesus pointed out to the crowd what they could have perceived if they looked wisely.

As we return to this passage, maybe Jesus can help us look with the kind of vision he brings to bear not just on how John could have been perceived but also the kind of vision Jesus would want us to acquire as we disciple ourselves to him.

As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written,

‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.’

Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John came; and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. Let anyone with ears listen!

“But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another,

‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we wailed, and you did not mourn.’

For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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