Then Jesus answering said unto them
"To the disciples", as the Persic; to both, as the Arabic: when he had wrought these cures, he turned himself to the disciples of John, and made answer to their question. The Vulgate Latin leaves out the word "Jesus", rendering it, "and he answering"; in the following words:
go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard.
They had just seen many cured of infirmities, plagues, and evil spirits, and they had heard the doctrines of the Gospel preached by him; and the former were in confirmation of the latter, and both were proofs of his being the Messiah: the particulars of which follow,
how that the blind see;
that is, they that had been blind, and some that were born blind received their sight, which was what was never heard of before, from the beginning of the world; and which, as it is an instance of Christ's almighty power, showing him to be God; so it was a fulfilment of a prophecy concerning him as the Messiah, who, when he came, was to open the eyes of the blind, ( Isaiah 35:5 ) and this was true, not only in a corporeal, but in a spiritual sense: and generally so it was, that when the blind received their bodily sight, they also received their spiritual sight; and both were evidences of the true Messiahship of our Lord Jesus.
The lame walk;
these were among those who were cured of their infirmities; and this also was prophesied of the Messiah, and was now accomplished by Jesus, that "the lame man" should "leap as an hart", ( Isaiah 35:6 ) and so was to be considered by John, and his disciples, as another proof of his being the true Messiah:
the lepers are cleansed;
of this sort were they who were cured of their plagues: the leprosy was called a plague; hence the treatise of leprosy, in the Misna, is, by the Jews, called Negaim, or "plagues".
The deaf hear;
so in the above prophecy in Isaiah, it is predicted, that "the ears of the deaf should be unstopped" in the days of the Messiah; and which therefore must be considered as a further confirmation of Jesus being he that was to come, and that another was not to be looked for.
The dead are raised:
whether there were any raised at this time, or no, is not certain; but certain it is, that there had been one raised from the dead, if not in the presence of these disciples, yet just before they came to Christ, of which John had been informed by some of his disciples, if not these; and of which an account is given before in this chapter, and which is what none but the mighty God can do.
To the poor the Gospel is preached:
it was preached both by the poor, the disciples of Christ, and to the poor, mean, base, and illiterate among the Jews; and also to the poor, meek, and lowly in heart, as was prophesied should be, by the Messiah, ( Isaiah 61:1 ) so that put all together, here were undoubted proofs, and a full demonstration, that Jesus was the Messiah; (See Gill on Matthew 11:4). (See Gill on Matthew 11:5).