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Did John lapse in faith when he was in jail?

Luke 7:20-22: while John the Baptist is in prison and sent messengers to Jesus to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" Jesus replied to them: "Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor." (also Mt.11:2-6).

Jesus reminded him of miracles that only the Messiah could do (Isaiah 29:18-21; 35:5-6; 61:1-2). The common held belief among the Jews in Jesus’ day was that when the Messiah came, He would deliver Israel from Roman authority and oppression. Like others, John understood this to be what the Messiah was expected to do. He expected the Messiah to establish the kingdom that he had been preaching of in his day. John being in prison could not understand why it had not transpired yet. So he decided to send messengers to Jesus to ask, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" (Luke 7:20). Jesus told the messengers to go to John and tell him of His miracles, to assure him while in prison that Jesus was indeed the fulfillment of the messianic promises in their Scriptures. That John fulfilled his mission to introduce Him to Israel.

What John did not understand is that there were two comings, not just one. Here is the Messiah, why is there a delay. In Jesus 1st coming he came as the son of Joseph adopted into an earthly family since his origin is not from man. He came as a lamb who would sacrifice his life. The son of Joseph is also the son of David but at the 2nd coming he comes as the son of David to set up the kingdom-as a lion.

The Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament would deliver people from their real bondage of sin first- then He would come to rule and resign over Israel. They wanted a Messiah that was going to restore the Kingdom of David. They didn’t understand that was not his purpose in his first coming but in his second. In Judaism we have two pictures of the Messiah- ha mashiach ben Yoseph and ha mashiach be David, the Messiah son of Joseph and the Messiah the son of David.

The Jews had no concept of Messiah two comings. Even after the resurrection they didn’t understand this look at the book of Acts 1:6 “Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” Jesus responded that, “it is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” The common belief of the Jews at the time was that when the Messiah came He would reign on the earth forever. They still did not understand there were two comings (John 12:34) separated by the church age, the time for Gentiles to be grafted into the covenant of Israel (Rom.11).

The specific timing of the kingdom is hidden, but we can know the season prior to its coming from the events happening in the world: The nation Israel returning to the land of promise, earthquakes, famines, diseases, wars and national unrest will increase, as will lawlessness and violence are all signs of his soon return.

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