Even though he was in prison, John the Baptist was hearing stories and rumors about the bold teaching and miraculous works of Jesus. John wanted to confirm whether or not Jesus was the Messiah, so he sent some of his own disciples to ask Jesus a question.
When they had found Jesus preparing to speak to a large crowd, one of John’s disciples identified themselves and asked him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”
Jesus smiled and looked directly at the men and said, “Go and tell John what you see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”
John’s disciples bowed slightly to Jesus and immediately headed back to tell John what Jesus had told them.
Jesus walked to a spot where the people could see him, and he used the visit from John’s disciples as part of his teaching. “What did you go out to the desert to see?. … To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.” Jesus pointed in the direction John’s disciples were going. “This is the one about who it is written: ‘Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you.’”
In order to make his message clear to those who did not know what Jesus was trying to tell them, he spoke plainly to them. “… (There) has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
Then Jesus wanted to remind the people how some of them had reacted to the ministry of John as well as his own.
“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’” Jesus paused so that the people could think about what he was saying to them. Then he said, “But wisdom is vindicated by her works.”
Jesus wanted everyone to know that his most important message was his love, so he told them, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”
READ MORE ABOUT IT:
1. Who sent his disciples to find Jesus?
2. Who did Jesus say was greater than John?
Before Matthew became a follower of Jesus, he had been a tax collector. Jesus found Matthew “sitting at the customs post,” and he said two simple, yet powerful words to him: “Follow me.” Matthew immediately left his work and went with Jesus.
Matthew’s Gospel is the first book of the New Testament. He traced the genealogy of Jesus back to Abraham. He wrote vivid accounts of the ministry of John the Baptist and the ministry of Jesus, which began after his baptism by John in the Jordan River. He also recorded a passage from one of the most beautiful sermons given by Jesus, which we know as the Beatitudes.
There are many accounts of the miracles performed and parables told by Jesus. Matthew also gave us a close look at the events leading up to the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus, from the Last Supper to the great commission Jesus gave to his disciples.
St. Nicholas is probably more well-known by the legends that have been told about him than by his true biography. His parents died, leaving him with considerable wealth, which he used to help people who were poor or in need.
He learned of a man who had lost all of his money and could barely support his three daughters. Under the cover of night, Nicholas threw a bag of gold though the man’s window. He repeated this act of generosity two more times, giving each of the daughters a dowry for marriage.
After he died, his relics were moved to the Italian city of Bari. He is the patron saint of sailors and of children, a fact that is most visible at Christmas when we hear about “Santa Claus.” We honor Nicholas on Dec. 6.