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Ministry of Jesus

Jesus and John the Baptist


Matthew 11:1-19
Luke 7:18-35

Key Differences

Luke records that those who had been baptized by John believed the words of Jesus but those who had not, such as the Pharisees rejected Jesus' words.  The baptism itself had no power to sway anyone's mind, but rather it was a reflection of the openness of the people.  Those who were open and repentant had accepted John's message and were baptized.  They were far more likely to accept Jesus' message.

Additional Commentary

Even though John had encountered Jesus on several occasions and had even baptized Him, he still was not certain if Jesus was the Messiah.  As John sat in prison, knowing that his ministry and life were near an end, he sent his disciples to find out for sure that Jesus was the one he was preparing the way for.  John's faith is not misplaced, he was in the same situation as many of Jesus' followers.  Jesus was undeniably different from other people but so many had different expectations of the Messiah - ones that will not be fulfilled until Jesus second coming.

Jesus contrasts His ministry with that of John and notes that some people still didn't respond to either style.  John's ministry was like that of modern "fire and brimstone" preachers who preach a strong message of repentance.  John's message was a sorrowful one and he didn't associate with many people, eating locusts and honey in the desert. 

Jesus' message had a more loving and compassionate tone to it (not to say that Jesus didn't have plenty of damning words for the Pharisees and teachers of the law.)  Jesus spent His time going to banquets and socializing with some of worst of society. 

Some people respond to one type of message better than another.  Jesus pointed out that some people didn't respond to either type of message however and instead made excuses for their rejection, stating that John had a demon and Jesus was a drunkard.

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