John was in prison. He had been arrested for confronting King Herod about his relationship with his brother’s wife.
There is a prophecy about the messiah in the book of Isaiah. It is found in chapter 42: ““ Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. “He will not cry out or raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street. “A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice. “He will not be disheartened or crushed Until He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.” Thus says God the Lord, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and its offspring, Who gives breath to the people on it And spirit to those who walk in it, “I am the Lord, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations, To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the dungeon And those who dwell in darkness from the prison.”
Isaiah 42:1-7 –
Another prophecy about the messiah is found in Isaiah chapter 61. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
Isaiah 61:1-3 –
Could John have been counting on these passages content when he sent his followers to Jesus? Was he hinting about his release, could he have been asking when will you fulfill the “release the prisoners” part Jesus?
“Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive sight 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. 6 And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”
Matthew 11:2-6 –
Both of these Isaiah references references mention freedom for prisoners and yet John was still in jail. Could it be that John was waiting to be freed and even expecting Jesus to fulfill his role as messiah and set at least one particular captive free?
John did not get released from prison. Herod’s wife used her daughter to get him disposed of.
“For Herod himself had sent and had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, because he had married her. For John had been saying to Herod, “ It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death and could not do so; for Herod was afraid of John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. And when he heard him, he was very perplexed; but he used to enjoy listening to him. A strategic day came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his lords and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee; and when the daughter of Herodias herself came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you want and I will give it to you.” And he swore to her, “Whatever you ask of me, I will give it to you; up to half of my kingdom.” And she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.” Immediately she came in a hurry to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” And although the king was very sorry, yet because of his oaths and because of his dinner guests, he was unwilling to refuse her. Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded him to bring back his head. And he went and had him beheaded in the prison, and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about this, they came and took away his body and laid it in a tomb.”
Mark 6:17-29 –
Although Jesus did not set John free Jesus still has fulfilled this part of the prophecy about himself because he has set billions of people free, not from a physical dungeon, but from a spiritual one. I am one of those that he has set free. I was enslaved by sin, my own sin, and generational sin, but I met Jesus and he forgave all of it and set me free. That same forgiveness and freedom is available to anyone who will confess, admit their need for a savior and declare that Jesus is their Lord and believe in their heart that God raised Jesus from the dead.
Can it really be that simple?
These are the verses that I base this on. “But what does it say? “ The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart ”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “ Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
Romans 10:8-11 –
If you my reader are already a Christian I am so excited about that. we are family. I must ask you, have told anyone else about Jesus? Please do, most people haven’t heard about him yet. If you my reader have not received Jesus as your savior yet, will you consider doing it today? Tomorrow is a hope but not a promise.