Pastor Steve Ellison
Has your faith ever been weak? Have you wondered if your big mouth said too much? Have you ever felt all alone? Have you ever had doubts? Have you ever felt terribly persecuted? Did you wonder if perhaps it was your fault, that you really deserved what was happening to you? Have you passed through a long, dark valley, even the valley of the shadow of death? Did you wonder where your help would come from? Did you wonder where your Savior was? Did you wonder what He was doing and why didn’t He come to your rescue? Did you wonder if this darkness would ever pass? Well I have and so did John the Baptist.
One of the jobs of the prophets was to speak truth to power. Prophets were called to hold rulers accountable for their actions. Thus John the Baptist offended Herod the Great and his new wife by pointing out their adultery. John was rewarded with a long-term reservation in a dungeon under the palace floor at Machaerus. The questions above are bad enough as I walk through the comfort and freedom of my modern day life. I can only imagine how these questions must have ricocheted off the solid rock walls in the dark dungeon. I suppose that John could hear the sounds of laughter and extravagance dropping down from the palace floor above him. The hissing Serpent must have had a field day with John’s doubts. I am quite sure that I cannot imagine all the questions John must have asked himself. Perhaps John was even afraid that he had led others down the wrong path. Whatever the case, the right question was about to dawn on John.
Luke 7:19 records the question, “Summoning two of his disciples, John sent them to the Lord, saying, "Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?" NASU Our doubts will either lead us to Christ or away from Christ. John overcame in the only possible way, the only way that was open to him and to us. His dark doubts and despair opened the door of hope. When John asked the question, “Are you the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?” he was on the verge of victory. The light was already dawning in the darkness. An honest inquiry to Christ about His nature and being will not go unanswered. John had already conquered just by asking the question. Our doubts must be allowed to lead us to Christ, who is the only One with the answers to our questions.
Luke 7:21-23 gives Christ’s marvelous, compassionate, certain declaration that He is indeed without a doubt the Expected One, “At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind. And He answered and said to them, "Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them. Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me." NASU Jesus answered John’s question by performing some miracles just for John’s benefit, just to relieve John’s doubts. We worship a compassionate Savior! Jesus told John’s disciples to report to John what He was doing. John would certainly recognize Jesus deeds as a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy identifying the Messiah.
The next time that doubts assail you and the Serpent hisses, take your cue from John the Baptist and cast yourself on Christ who will answer your doubts with marvelous compassion...……..…..email@example.com