“Are You the coming one, or shall we look for someone else?” (Matthew 11:3)
These words were spoken by John the Baptist, who had been imprisoned by Herod. And they should comfort any of us who have ever had doubts about our faith.
John the Baptist was not just “any” person who was asking Jesus if He was indeed the Christ. John was the one who had earlier confidently pointed to Jesus and proclaimed: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) He was the prophesied forerunner of the Messiah. In :11 below, Jesus said of John “among those who are born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist!” AND YET HERE HE DOUBTS!! Imprisoned, and undoubtedly facing the dark giants of discouragement and depression, he asked Jesus if He really was indeed the One he had told everyone that He was.
Jesus did answer John, pointing him to the scriptures He was fulfilling with His life and ministry, which confirmed Who He was. But there is something else here for God’s people to consider as well. If John, the greatest of human flesh, the scriptural forerunner who had seen and experienced so much of Jesus, could doubt, then what of those of us of lesser stature — will we not occasionally and certainly experience doubts? Certainly we will! Do not think yourself to necessarily be unconverted just because you have experienced doubts. Even the greatest of God’s people have wrestled with them. Surely we will as well. The key is that when you experience them, do what John did: take them to Jesus, and let Him speak to you and confirm the truth of His word.
Significantly, there was not a trace of judgment or condemnation anywhere in Jesus’ response to John’s doubts: only scriptures to guide him, and a loving commendation of his service in ministry. We can take comfort that He will respond with the same understanding and love to our inevitable seasons of doubt.