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Matthew 11:5

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

The blind receive their sight, etc. - Αναβλεπωσι, look upwards, contemplating the heavens which their Lord hath made.

The lame walk - Περιπατωσι, they walk about; 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.
  • They are lame - not able to walk in the path of righteousness.
  • They are leprous, their souls are defiled with sin, the most loathsome and inveterate disease; deepening in themselves, and infecting others.
  • They are deaf to the voice of God, his word, and their own conscience.
  • 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. Giving sight to the blind, and raising the dead, are allowed by the ancient rabbins to be works which the Messiah should perform, when he should manifest himself in Israel.

    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.

    Matthew Henry
    Concise Bible Commentary
    Some think that John sent this inquiry for his own satisfaction. Where there is true faith, yet there may be a mixture of unbelief. The remaining unbelief of good men may sometimes, in an hour of temptation; call in question the most important truths. But we hope that John's faith did not fail in this matter, and that he only desired to have it strengthened and confirmed. Others think that John sent his disciples to Christ for their satisfaction. Christ points them to what they heard and saw. Christ's gracious condescensions and compassions to the poor, show that it was he that should bring to the world the tender mercies of our God. Those things which men see and hear, if compared with the Scriptures, direct in what way salvation is to be found. It is difficult to conquer prejudices, and dangerous not to conquer them; but those who believe in Christ, their faith will be found so much the more to praise, and honour, and glory.
    Ellen G. White
    Selected Messages Book 3, 296.2

    It Is Christ Who Heals—Sister White has never claimed to heal the sick. It is Christ who has healed in every instance, as it was Christ who in the days of His ministry raised the dead to life. It is Christ who performs every mighty work through the ministry of His servants. This Christ is to be trusted and believed in. His blessing upon the means used for restoration to health will bring success. The mercy of Christ delights to manifest itself in behalf of suffering humanity. It is He who imparts the ministration of healing to the sick, and physicians are to give to Him the glory for the wonderful works performed.—Letter 158, 1908. 3SM 296.2

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    Ellen G. White
    Medical Ministry, 243

    We are living in the last days of this earth's history, and medical missionary work is to be all that the name signifies. To the poor the gospel is to be preached. The poor man as well as the rich man is the object of God's special care and attention. Take away poverty, and we should have no way of understanding the mercy and love of God, no way of knowing the compassionate and sympathetic heavenly Father. MM 243.1

    Those who have the truth for these last days will bear a message adapted to the poor. One would think that the gospel was inspired in order to reach this class. Christ came to the earth to walk and work among the poor. To the poor He preached the gospel. His work is the gospel worked out on medical missionary lines—in justice, mercy, and the love of God which is the sure fruit borne because the tree is good. And today in the person of His believing, working children, who move under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Christ visits the poor and the needy, relieving want and alleviating suffering.—Letter 83, 1902. MM 243.2

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    Ellen G. White
    In Heavenly Places, 173.4

    The highest honor that can be conferred upon human beings, be they young or old, rich or poor, is to be permitted to lift up the oppressed, to comfort the feeble-minded. The world is full of suffering. Go, and preach the gospel to the poor; heal the sick. This is the work to be connected with the gospel message. “The poor have the gospel preached to them” (Matthew 11:5). Colaborers with God are to fill the space they occupy in the world with the love of Jesus.... The love of Christ in the heart is expressed in the actions. If love for Christ is dull the love for those for whom Christ died will degenerate.... HP 173.4

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    Ellen G. White
    The Great Controversy, 20

    For three years the Lord of light and glory had gone in and out among His people. He “went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil,” binding up the brokenhearted, setting at liberty them that were bound, restoring sight to the blind, causing the lame to walk and the deaf to hear, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead, and preaching the gospel to the poor. Acts 10:38; Luke 4:18; Matthew 11:5. To all classes alike was addressed the gracious call: “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. GC 20.1

    Though rewarded with evil for good, and hatred for His love (Psalm 109:5), He had steadfastly pursued His mission of mercy. Never were those repelled that sought His grace. A homeless wanderer, reproach and penury His daily lot, He lived to minister to the needs and lighten the woes of men, to plead with them to accept the gift of life. The waves of mercy, beaten back by those stubborn hearts, returned in a stronger tide of pitying, inexpressible love. But Israel had turned from her best Friend and only Helper. The pleadings of His love had been despised, His counsels spurned, His warnings ridiculed. GC 20.2

    The hour of hope and pardon was fast passing; the cup of God's long-deferred wrath was almost full. The cloud that had been gathering through ages of apostasy and rebellion, now black with woe, was about to burst upon a guilty people; and He who alone could save them from their impending fate had been slighted, abused, rejected, and was soon to be crucified. When Christ should hang upon the cross of Calvary, Israel's day as a nation favored and blessed of God would be ended. The loss of even one soul is a calamity infinitely outweighing the gains and treasures of a world; but as Christ looked upon Jerusalem, the doom of a whole city, a whole nation, was before Him—that city, that nation, which had once been the chosen of God, His peculiar treasure. GC 20.3

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    Ellen G. White
    Evangelism, 565

    Christ Met Their Minds—We may do much in a short time if we will work as Christ worked. We may reflect with profit upon His manner of teaching. He sought to meet the minds of the common people. His style was plain, simple, comprehensive. He took His illustrations from the scenes with which His hearers were most familiar. By the things of nature He illustrated truths of eternal importance, thus connecting heaven and earth.—Manuscript 24, 1903. Ev 565.1

    Study Christ's Simplicity—The Saviour came “to preach the gospel to the poor.” In His teaching He used the simplest terms and the plainest symbols. And it is said that “the common people heard Him gladly.” Those who are seeking to do His work for this time need a deeper insight into the lessons He has given.—The Ministry of Healing, 443 (1905). Ev 565.2

    Lord's People Mainly Common People—The Lord's people are mainly made up of the poor of this world, the common people. Not many wise, not many mighty, not many noble are called. God hath “chosen the poor of this world.” “The poor have the gospel preached to them.” The wealthy are called, in one sense; they are invited, but they do not accept the invitation. But in these wicked cities the Lord has many who are humble and yet trustful.—Manuscript 17, 1898. Ev 565.3

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    Ellen G. White
    Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 20

    “With great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them.” Acts 4:33. Under their labors there were added to the church chosen men, who, receiving the word of life, consecrated their lives to the work of giving to others the hope that had filled their hearts with peace and joy. Hundreds proclaimed the message: “The kingdom of God is at hand.” They could not be restrained or intimidated by threatenings. The Lord spoke through them; and, wherever they went, the sick were healed, and the poor had the gospel preached unto them. 8T 20.1

    So mightily can God work when men give themselves up to the control of His Spirit. 8T 20.2

    To us today, as verily as to the first disciples, the promise of the Spirit belongs. God will today endow men and women with power from above, as He endowed those who on the Day of Pentecost heard the word of salvation. At this very hour His Spirit and His grace are for all who need them and will take Him at His word. 8T 20.3

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