The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

January 26, 2013

INSTANT MESSAGE: John the Baptist Doubts

By CRAIG HARRIS
Palestine Herald-Press

Matthew 11: 1-6 (NIV): After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.  When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples  to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"  Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see:  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."



    John the Baptist was the very one who fulfilled Old Testament prophecy by being a great prophet, like Elijah, who came and prepared the way for the Christ, preaching repentance. Jesus said John the Baptist was the fulfillment of prophecy in the last paragraph of the Old Testament. John the Baptist was the very one who baptized Jesus.

    Yet, now he doubted that Jesus really was the Christ. How could this be? John the Baptist was undoubtedly expecting Jesus to conquer Rome as the Christ. John the Baptist was sitting in prison -  having been thrown there by Herod because John called him out on stealing his half-brother's wife -  and John the Baptist expected Jesus to come free him. It wasn't happening. He was disappointed in Jesus because Jesus was not who he thought he was. Jesus' Kingdom was a spiritual one, not a political one. Jesus' Kingdom is eternal, not temporal.

    Don't be disappointed because Jesus isn't doing what you think he should. Don't fall away or abandon your faith when things are not going your way. Remember, God knows what is best.

    And Jesus offered him evidence to prove that he really was the Christ. The same evidence we have today: eye-witness accounts of his healing and preaching and raising the dead. Remember, don't base your faith on your feelings, but on the evidence. Your feelings will let you down; your understanding will let you down. The evidence is solid. Examine it for yourself and embrace Christ as Lord and God.



————

Craig Harris is the pastor at Brushy Creek United Methodist Church in Brushy Creek and Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church in Pert. Sunday services are at 9:30 a.m. at Brushy Creek and 11 a.m. at Pert. See more of his columns at www.instantmessagelive.com.