“Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.””
If you’ve heard of John the Baptist, then doubting probably isn’t the word that first comes to mind. John the Baptist was a prophet, or more like a messenger, who was sent to make the way for Jesus. He spent years and years in the wilderness making the truth of the Saviors coming known amongst people. We see and hear so much about how faithful and humble John was as he spent his years serving God in exactly what God called him to, later on in Matthew 11, Jesus says this about John the Baptist. He says that, “there is no man greater than he.” I mean that’s pretty daggum high praise from the Son of God!
But the other day my buddy brought these verses to my attention and spoke a truth from it that really got me thinking. In the context of these verses John the Baptist had been imprisoned and put into jail for his honesty about some immoral things going on with King Herod. Well, John is in the worst possible circumstances possible and we see a glimpse of just how human John really was. It’s obvious to see as John is in prison that he is experiencing some big time moments of doubt about Jesus. It says John is wondering, is Jesus really who He says He is or should we be waiting on another? Yes, that same John that Jesus called GREAT, that same faithful servant John, this same man was doubting the One who he had given his life to. Why? Well, it’s obvious here that Johns tough circumstances pushed him to feeling that doubt and made him second guess himself. So much so that he sends a messenger to Jesus to aka that question.
What’s really cool to takeaway from these verses is when we also face tough situations in our life, or situations where we continue to push and remain faithful in but see no fruit, we can be prone to doubting. We have moments we fail and mess up and so many moments where we go through different experiences that make us question, is Jesus really who He says He is? And there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you seek out answers from Jesus Himself instead of other routes. John had doubt so he didn’t hide it, he sent his doubt straight to Jesus seeking answers.
Then Jesus’ response was one that we can turn to and hold tightly to when we face moments of doubt in our lives in whatever way that may be. Jesus tells the messenger, go and tell John of what you hear and see, how Jesus was healing the sick, making all these crazy awesome miracles happen and preaching the Good News to people. It’s awesome to learn here that doubt isn’t unusual, even John the Baptist has times of doubt so its good to know that doubting will come in this process of following Christ. But it’s also encouraging to see the only place to take that doubt is to the One you’re doubting. Jesus. Just as John sent his doubt straight to Jesus, so should we, whether by digging into His Word or through prayer. The only way to find the answers we need to hear is by going to the source of all our needs that we find in Jesus.
Jesus isn’t going to look down at you because of your doubt. Jesus loves you way too much and He was once partly man Himself so He knows the temptation we carry with us to doubt. Jesus doesn’t cast you out for doubt, Jesus fills you in! Jesus fills us in with His truth and Word, Jesus reminds us of all that He has done, all that He is capable of and all that He is! Jesus reminds John here of the truth, that He is the Son of God, the One who is capable of giving sight to the blind, making the deaf able to hear, healing people and the reason any Good News is preached in the first place. Jesus doesn’t look to look down at us but He shows us that we should look up to Him in any moment of doubt we may face, no matter how tough or impossible circumstances may look. Jesus gives us words of affirmation and reminds us so clearly of what He’s done not only through His Word but in our lives. Jesus tells us and shows us point blank to look at Him, the way He delivered you and saved your life yesterday and that He is still just as capable to give your what you need and be there for you in the problems of today. To turn that doubt into confidence, turning to Jesus and being given His truth about all He has done in your life, and all He can and will do now, that’s where we find rest in our doubt, a sense of peace and provision during time where those things may be few and far between. It’s like Jesus is saying, tell John who I am by looking at what I’ve done and continue to do and also, the truth I say to you. The coolest part is Jesus has the same message for us here today. Seek Him out and you will without a doubt, be encouraged and set free in the truth you find as you look at Jesus, who He is, what’s He’s capable of and all the past eveidence where He has made Himself clear to us.