We are in Matthew Chapter 11 and examining that incident where John is in prison because he had preached and had challenged the morality of the leadership and he is wondering if Jesus is really the Christ.
Verse 4 – Jesus gives those messengers, who had come from John, a word for John. Tell John to fix his gaze upon God, and what God is doing, through the One He has sent.
Meditating upon your doubts will not do you one bit of good.
Jesus is really quoting from Isaiah 35,61. Jesus directs John to the Scriptures. What does the Scripture say about the coming Messiah? The Scripture has been fulfilled.
Fix your gaze upon God and bathe your mind in Scripture. As faith is fed and strengthened by Scripture, doubt will be weakened and cured by Scripture.
If a man will not do this, doubt can become a stumbling block.
Jesus affirms John’s greatness. John is a puzzled prophet. One dear man is in prison as a result of his faithful preaching and baptising and prophesying. It is Jesus' cousin John, and when he challenged sin in the life of a king he was incarcerated in a dreadful jail.
John has questions. John even has doubts. John knew who Jesus was.
John had baptised Jesus, but upsetting circumstances, and persecution, and jail, and imprisonment, can do peculiar things even to a man of faith.
We are all very vulnerable at times and that is why we so need each other.
"I am in this prison. All I have before me is death." John had lived out in the open air, and now he is locked up physically and spiritually.
News reaches John of all the mighty things cousin Jesus is doing. "Why won't he come and get me out of this horrid place?" It is as though he was attacked by a spirit of depression. He sends two disciples with questions, which are full of doubt and wondering.
The Bible is so absolutely honest and so devastatingly transparent.
"Are you the one who should come or should we look for another?" This is a searching desperate question. Are you really the Christ?
Have you ever asked - Why? Why? Why? Have I made a mistake?
Crowds were flocking to Jesus, but nothing significant or deep appeared to be happening. There were signs and wonders. People were being moved emotionally, but there was not much to see that could be described as real and lasting.
At least John got people to repent and turn from their sins, and sort things out, and put things right, by cleaning up their behaviour.
O, take your doubts to Jesus.
Is Jesus an emotional miracle worker? This is what it looked like from prison and from a distance, when in isolation? Being out of things can give rise to questions and doubts.
We are created for fellowship – to hear each other praising and praying and worshipping. Being a visible obedient disciple in a Fellowship is vital.
This was one of the basic principles in The Early Church.
To be isolated, when you are created to belong, is utter loneliness.
Why do people turn to drink and drugs and sin? Why do people form and go around in gangs?
There is a longing and a desire for friendship and fellowship and belonging and only in the Church of Jesus Christ does this find satisfaction, and God wants us to be satisfied in every area of our lives.
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