While he was in prison, John the Baptist sent his disciples to Jesus to ask if He was the One they were looking for.
Jesus … 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 11:4-5 NKJV)
The lame walk … to give the fullest proof to the multitude that their cure was real. These miracles were not only the most convincing proofs of the supreme power of Christ, but were also emblematic of that work of salvation which he effects in the souls of men.
1. Sinners are blind; their understanding is so darkened by sin that they see not the way of truth and salvation.
2. They are lame—not able to walk in the path of righteousness.
3. They are leprous, their souls are defiled with sin—the most loathsome and inveterate disease—deepening in themselves, and infecting others.
4. They are deaf to the voice of God, his word, and their own conscience.
5. They are dead in trespasses and sins; God, who is the life of the soul, being separated from it by iniquity.
Nothing less than the power of Christ can redeem from all this; and, from all this, that power of Christ actually does redeem every penitent believing soul. …
“The poor have the Gospel preached to them.” And what was this Gospel? Why, the glad tidings that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners: that he opens the eyes of the blind; enables the lame to walk with an even, steady, and constant pace in the way of holiness; cleanses the lepers from all the defilement of their sins; opens the ears of the deaf to hear his pardoning words; and raises those who were dead in trespasses and sins to live in union with himself to all eternity.
1. Adam Clarke, Adam Clarke’s Commentary, quoted in Phil Lindner, Power Bible CD, CD-ROM (Bronson, Mich.: Online Publishing, Inc., 2007), Matthew 11:5.