Sunday, July 24, 2011

Why Did John the Baptist Question Jesus?

After sending the disciples off to preach and teach in pairs, Jesus began to teach in the disciples' hometowns. This is where John the Baptist’s disciples found Him and asked Him the question their rabbi, John the Baptist, had given them:
"Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?" (Matthew 11:3)
John was genuinely doubting whether the message he’d preached was all true, and the person he’d introduced was really the Messiah. Doubt is not sin unless you ignore the evidence and stay where you are in your doubt.

John had been tirelessly promoting the good news of repentance and salvation through Messiah, and many people were repenting and being baptized. The pinnacle of his ministry was to baptize Messiah, and work side by side with Christ, flanking Jerusalem, preaching and baptizing.

Then John was arrested and imprisoned. He had his disciples left, but everything else was suddenly, shockingly, taken away – his ministry, the wide open desert where he lived, his place as prophet and co-laborer with Messiah.

And Jesus seemed to be doing nothing about it.

Could this really be Messiah, Who was supposed to come and right all wrongs, to rule in righteousness, to “open prison’s doors and set the captives free”? John was a captive, he was Jesus' strongest advocate, and yet he was not being set free.

Why do we doubt?
1) Difficult circumstances John was in the worst possible place with no rescue in sight

2) Incomplete knowledge John knew only just a little bit more than all the Old Testament prophets, since he knew that Jesus was Messiah, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world.

John was not going to see the crucifixion or the resurrection. He didn’t understand the entire scope of what God was doing

3) Unfulfilled expectations When John was prophesying about Jesus he the Messiah would baptize with the Holy Spirit, and He would judge. John expected this to happen during his life time, but the baptism of the Holy Spirit didn’t come until Pentecost, and the day of judgement is still future to us right now.

* What, in your life, is disappointing to you right now? Does it feel the opposite of what you expected God's promises would look like?

* Where do you go with your disappointments and doubts? Do you ask God for insight?

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