Matthew 11:2-3 (NIV) When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
John the Baptist was unique. It seemed like his entire life was geared to a short period of time just before Jesus came on the scene. According to scripture, he was sent by God ahead of the Messiah to prepare the way for Him. The way that he was preparing the way was by preaching against sin and by telling people about their need to repent because God's Kingdom was near. He was baptizing people with water for the repentance of their sins. He also spoke about the coming Messiah and the good news concerning Him. He even told the people that the Messiah was so great that he didn't consider himself worthy enough to even untie His sandals.
One day, as John was baptizing people, Jesus walked up to him to be baptized. As you can imagine, John didn't want to do it because he knew that it was he who should be baptized by Jesus and not the other way around. But when Jesus explained that this was proper in order to carry out all that God requires, John agreed to baptize Him. As he did, the heavens were opened and the Spirit of God descended in the form of a dove and settled on Jesus. Then a voice from heaven was heard saying, "This is my Son, whom I love. With Him I am well pleased."
What an amazing moment and what an incredible climax to John the Baptist's ministry. He had lived to see the purpose for his life fulfilled in one glorious moment. Jesus then went on His way and began His ministry. But for John, things didn't go so well. Some of his disciples left him, with John's approval. He told a couple of his disciples, "He (meaning Jesus) must increase, and I must decrease." In addition to that, he was later arrested by Herod and thrown in prison. While he was in prison, he heard all about the things that Jesus was doing, and he sent some of his disciples to ask Jesus the question in the passage of scripture above. "Are you the Messiah or should we expect someone else?" was his question. After all that John had seen and experienced and after witnessing the Spirit of God settle on Jesus, and having heard God's voice from heaven reaffirming His love for His Son, John doubted. But instead of Jesus becoming indignant, he told John's disciples to confirm to John that He was indeed the Messiah.
John the Baptist was described by Jesus as the greatest person to be born of a woman, and here we see his humanness in that his precarious situation brought doubt to his mind about who Jesus was. You and I go through trials as well, although perhaps not like John faced. But we go through many problems, trials, and tribulations here on this earth with some of them being very severe. It is in those times that doubt of who Jesus is in our lives can creep in. We can begin to doubt that He loves us, that He is with us, or that He even exists. Thank God that He is so loving and patient with us that even when we have doubts, He reaffirms His love for us instead of rebuking us. When life's storms come your way, guard your heart against allowing doubts to cloud your mind about who Jesus is in your life. He is your Messiah, your Savior and your Lord and nothing can or will ever change that!
Pastor Joey Vazquez