1 After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.

2 When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"

4 Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. 6 Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."

Matt 11:1-6 (NIV)

Is it not amazing that John could have rightly identified the Master and have even baptized Him yet then begin to question again His being the Messiah? We find his testimony regarding Jesus being the Son of God in the Gospel of John:

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, 'A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.' 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel." 32 Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' 34 I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God." John 1:29-34 (NIV)

The Baptist’s ministry had been cut short. Wrongly placed in prison for speaking the Truth (he had rightly told Herod it was wrong for him to have his brother’s wife Herodias), John now begins to question if he really had things right about Who this Jesus was. Tribulation and trials, suffering and isolation can make one question if we are really on target with Jesus. Like the Baptist, we can begin to doubt the love of the Master. We would do well to remind ourselves of the simple Truth of His love:

“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Anna Bartlett Warner

Satan delights in placing a wedge in our relationship with our Lord by inciting us to doubt Him. Unless reeled in and once again rightly regain proper focus, our doubting can often lead into our falling. I am reminded of the whole Garden experience with Adam and Eve. As Satan lures our original parents to doubt God:

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" 2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'" 4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Gen 3:1-6 (NIV)

The adversary desires for us to question the Lord’s sufficiency, peace, power and plan for our lives. When things go contrary to what we had imagined or expected, doubts and questions often arise and perhaps even flourish if allowed. Our focus becomes wrongly fixed on our circumstances rather than the Author and Perfecter of our faith:

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Heb 12:1-3 (NIV)

We can take to heart that, like the Baptist, where there is true faith there still may remain a mixture of unbelief, of questions of dangling doubts. We are sweetly given enough Truth to strengthen our faiths yet not to satisfy our every why. Like God showed Job, we are unable to answer every question. We will never put God in a box nor have Him down pat. We do hope in what is unseen yet hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has – Paul asks us in Romans 8.

“And she took a deep breath and she smiled brave because this is how you answer His call. You don’t get to make up most of your story. You get to make peace with it. You don’t get to demand your life, like a given. You get to accept your life, like a gift.” Ann Voskamp

God gives us exactly what we need to be victorious in Him. In our verses for today, Jesus reminds John of all that He was accomplishing – of all the miraculous deeds done - things too hard for mere man to accomplish – for His faith to be strengthened with unshakeable confidence.

“God wants us to be victors, not victims...to overcome, not to be overwhelmed.” William Arthur Word

“Faith is a living and unshakeable confidence, a belief in the grace of God so assured that a man would die a thousand deaths for its sake.” Martin Luther

What I Glean

  • Satan loves to plant doubts in my mind of God’s love for me.
  • Jesus loves me, this I know. He always has my best interest at heart.
  • I am to fix my eyes on the Master not my circumstances.