John's Doubts about Jesus
For reading & meditation - Matthew 11:1-11
"... 'Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else? '" (v. 3)
Although God would prefer us to believe, He is exceedingly loving and gracious toward those who struggle with honest doubts. Did you notice, when we were looking at Thomas the other day, that Jesus did not reject his doubting attitude, nor did He refuse his request for physical evidence that He was truly the Christ? Instead, Jesus said to him, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe" (John 20:27
). The passage before us today tells of another occasion when one of Jesus' followers became oppressed by doubt. John was in prison, and probably suffering great discomfort and disillusionment. John?s messengers came to Jesus, wanting to know whether He really was the Messiah, or whether they should be looking for somebody else. John, you remember, had baptized Jesus and had introduced Him to the world with these words: "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29
). Does it not seem strange that John, who witnessed the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus at His baptism, should now have doubts about who He was and the validity of His mission? How did Jesus respond to this situation? With tenderness and sensitivity, He said, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear ..." (Matt. 11:4-5
). Our Lord could have rebuked the doubting disciple with strong words of reproof, but He didn't. Although He cares about problems, He cares more about people.
Thank You, Father, for reminding me that You see me, not as a problem but as a person. I know You are concerned about my doubts, but You are more concerned about me. I am deeply grateful. Amen.
For Further Study
1. Who condemns us?
2. How did Jesus respond to the woman caught in adultery?