New Defender's Study Bible Notes
7:19 Art thou he. It is generally believed that John, unjustly imprisoned by Herod, was so discouraged because Jesus had not helped him get out of prison that he was about to lose his faith. However, in view of John’s strength of faith and character, as confirmed by Christ (Luke 7:28), this seems unlikely. Furthermore, he was filled with the Spirit (Luke 1:15) and had received God’s direct revelation that Jesus was, indeed, “He that should come” (John 1:32-34). Consequently, an alternative explanation for John’s question should be considered. John had urged his own disciples to follow Jesus (John 1:35-37), knowing that “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30), but some still persisted in loyalty to him instead. While this was admirable in a way, John earnestly desired all his own converts to follow Christ. When he heard of Jesus’ miracles, especially His restoring the life of the widow’s son (Luke 7:14), he decided the way to accomplish this was to send his disciples to Jesus with this specific question, so they could see and hear for themselves. Jesus answered them merely by referring to the prophecy in Isaiah 61:1-3 (the same Scripture He had used in the Nazareth synagogue which demonstrated His fulfillment of the prophecy by letting them see His works (Luke 7:20-22).