Where does doubt come from?
When John the Baptist was imprisoned, awaiting execution, he sent two of his disciples to Jesus to ask Him a simple question.
“Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”
Imprisoned, expecting to die, John has a moment of doubt. “Jesus, are you really the one?” Maybe in the cold, dark prison cell, weighed down by his shackles, John had many moments of doubt.
What are the cold, clouded, weighed down moments that have brought me face to face with the darkness of doubt?
John was Jesus’ second cousin. Couldn’t Jesus do something for him? After all, He’d healed many, even raised the dead, and brought freedom from demonic strongholds. Surely He could bust John out of his prison!
But still, how could John doubt? He was there to witness the Spirit descending upon Jesus and the Father audibly voicing His approval. How can you doubt when you hear the Voice of Heaven say “this is My Son.”
How can you doubt when you’ve preached and baptized and have a following in the thousands? How can you doubt when you know God has called you and sent you to “prepare the way for the coming of the Lord?” How can you doubt after confidently telling others, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world?”
How can you doubt when you hear all the reports of the miracles, signs and wonders, even while in prison?
Jesus responds to John’s doubt. “Go back and tell John what you have seen and heard: 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. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”
Here Jesus echoes the Messianic prophecy from Isaiah 61 about the ministry the Father has given him. This is his gentle way of reminding John, “I am the one. You know I’m the one. Stop doubting.”
This is Jesus’ reminder to “never doubt in the darkness what God has revealed to you in the light.”
Interestingly, the portion of Isaiah’s prophecy that Jesus leaves out is, “He has sent me to… proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.”
Don’t doubt who I am or what I can do, even when I let you remain in the darkness, when I let you remain in pain, or when I let you continue to struggle. My priority isn’t your comfort or happiness, but rather that your life brings My Father the greatest glory possible.
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