How Does Jesus Cure Doubt for John the Baptist?
We are told in Scripture that John the Baptist was in prison, and he sends two of his disciples to Jesus to ask if He was the Christ. Why does John ask this question? He was there at Jesus’ baptism, saw the dove descend on Jesus, and heard the voice from heaven saying Jesus was God’s Son. He was the one who said Jesus was the lamb of God. Why does John now doubt?
Remember that John the Baptist is currently in prison.
So how does Jesus answer John? “The lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the blind see, the deaf hear, the dead are raised…” Miracles John. Miracles are following the Son of Man. This is what you were looking forward to. This is what you prepared the way for. Jesus then ends with this statement, “Blessed is the man who does not take offense at Me” (Matt. 11:6).
Doubt Arises From Our Bad Circumstances
Was John the Baptist taking offense at Jesus? John knew the stories coming to him. He heard that the miraculous was happening. Why did John ask Jesus if He was the One? Because John was in prison. Sure Jesus, you are helping all these other people out, but what about me? What about my circumstance?
This past week my wife and I received news that the child, we had been approved to adopt, was accidentally also approved to some other family. There are obvious questions that immediately arise as this is not typical and quite frankly suspicious of how it could happen. We have caught some inconsistencies in the stories we have heard that gives greater questions to what is really going on. What are we supposed to do?
- We can step back and accept the story as is and just proceed with another referral. This could be God’s sovereign plan to leading us to the daughter He picked for us.
- We can demand that the truth come out and hold people accountable to the promised referral we already have.
There may be a number of other options that could be right. What are we supposed to do? And how does this relate to John the Baptist?
Jesus’ Guaranteed Cure for Doubt
Jesus gives John the Baptist two answers that we can use in our current circumstance.
- Focus on the Good God Has Already Done. – Jesus told John all of the things that He was doing. When we focus on what God has not done, we get offended by Him. It is the same thing we are told in Hebrews. We are not to forgot the good that God has already done and let our hearts be hardened. By focusing on what God has done and His character, we have faith that He will come through for us in our current circumstance.
- Ask Jesus for Clarification When in Doubt. – Jesus does not condemn John the Baptist for asking if He was the One to come. He just redirected John’s focus back on His goodness. Jesus also followed up with a great commendation on John the Baptist saying that no man was greater than John. “You’re fine John. I haven’t forgotten you. You are still highly regarded in the kingdom.”
You may not be in a physical prison, but the doubts that come at us can very well feel like a prison away from God’s goodness. Focus on God’s goodness and ask for clarification. He may not give you the answer you want, but He will give you the answer to get you through. He may not answer the why questions, but He will let you know He is there with you. God loves you.
Kevin Shorter is the founder of this prayer-coach site and have served for several years in ministry and churches teaching on a variety of Biblical topics. Go to the contact page to request him to speak at your conferences and seminars.