How Does Jesus Cure Doubt for John the Baptist?
As a follow-up to the Book Review on Where Is God? by Dr. John Townsend earlier in the week, I was thinking about how Jesus dealt with doubt in John the Baptist (Matthew 11).
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.
I hope you have found this article helpful. Please pray for my wife and I as we navigate our current situation with our adoption.
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Praying for a quick breakthrough on the adoption. Praying for God’s anointed and appointed child for your family. Father, please send intervention and clarity. Make the crooked way straight before them. Thank you, Jesus!
May the Holy Spirit guide and lead you through the adoption process. I plead the blood of Jesus and I cover the said adoption in the name and blood of Jesus
Thank you. This post was originally written many years ago. Our adoption process didn’t end with a child in our home. God did much through our willingness to trust God to try to adopt. In the end the daughter we were matched with was given to another family. We believe that this opened us up to go to China to help orphans leaving the orphanage. That ministry is still active in China and run by local Chinese.
God is so good and he’ll see us through everything if we’ll just trust him. Forty eight years ago my wife and I was trusting the Lord to find a little boy for us to adopt. We were told that it could be 5 years before they found us one. Within a year the Lord blessed us with a wonderful little boy that needed a family to love him. The awesome thing is that his birthday is the same date as his great grandfather’s. Continue trusting the Lord because his timing is always the right time.
I have lost my mother today in the morning. I’m haert broke this email have heal my broken heart Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior I believe in him and to my heavenly father God of the most higher the creator of haven and earth in six days Amen
Victor, I am sorry to hear about your mother. May you continue to connect with God as you walk through your grief. He is our comforter and enjoys giving us peace. May this be your experience.