Read Matthew 11:2-11 with your family.
In the Gospel of Matthew, we don’t know if John and Jesus had ever met or talked about their ministry. In today’s story, John sent his messenger to question Jesus, since John was in prison at the time.
Jesus takes John’s messenger seriously and gives him a plain answer – that is not something Jesus normally did. Jesus usually turned the question back on the one asking and made them give some answers first. Not this time. Jesus sent the message back to John that he was the one John had been talking about. It must have made John feel relieved knowing the Messiah was now with the people, just as John had told them would happen.
Then Jesus turned to the crowds around and did not give a plain answer, but rather asked them what they were looking for. They had watched the conversation between Jesus and John’s messenger and were curious. Jesus asked them who they thought John was and what they thought was going on. John did not share an easy message, in fact his message was very harsh. John told them they had to stop their poor behaviours and put others ahead of themselves.
The Gospel story quotes another part of the Hebrew scripture, this time Malachi 3:1, which reminded all the listens around Jesus that God’s coming is not just a happy thing, but also something that challenges everyone. God is not going to tell us all we are doing a great job, but instead will tell us what we need to do better.
Jesus tells them John might be the most amazing person on earth at the moment, but with God’s new world everyone is expected to be even better than John.