Several times Jesus has used this questioning or “Socratic” method, and this is one of them. He asks a question not because of an inability to answer the original question, but rather to lead the questioners to discover the truth for themselves. It’s on this “journey of discovery” that leads the person to understand, through their personal encounter with reality.
“What did you go out to see?” This is a really great question to open the minds of the listeners. Jesus is actually saying, “look at my works – what do you see?” Still another way to ask the question is: “Who do you say that I am?” Actions speak louder than words, and the measure of a person can be obtained, in part, by observing those actions. If the blind are healed, cripples walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, and the dead are raised, those very works point toward the Messiah – the One who came to fulfil the scriptures (in this case, the words of Isaiah 35:1-6, our First Reading).
One of the great seventeenth century saints said that “it is our works, whether good or bad, that form us, and it is by them that we ought to be recognised.” There comes a time that we cease observing the good works of others, and start to copy and practice those virtues. This is how a person becomes formed or moulded into a true disciple and discovers the presence of Jesus in those he/she meets.
We can recognise God in nature, through the things that He has made, and both God and People reveal their true nature by their actions. The existence of God can be known with certainty through His works, seen with by using our own reason. Friends, look around you: who do you say that Jesus is?.