Tuesday, July 16, 2019
The circumstances of life tend to affect our perspective of faith. This was true of John the Baptist, who by faith had made the declaration upon seeing Jesus that this was “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” Yet John’s perspective of Jesus was Messianic in nature, growing out of his faith in the “Expected One” who would deliver Israel from their national disgrace. When John was arrested for his preaching, doubts about Jesus began to overwhelm him. John was thinking that if Jesus truly was the Messiah than why is even the political leadership of the nation rejecting me. He had to clarify his faith.
Luke 7:18-23 John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?’” At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to 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.”
Notice several significant lessons from this story:
- Jesus understands that some doubts are legitimate. Doubt becomes sin when it questions the validity of God’s Word. John had not stopped believing in the Messiah; he just needed to know if Jesus was the Messiah or if they were to wait a little longer for His coming. John’s faith in the promise of God was secure. He needed faith to believe the timing of God’s fulfillment of His Word.
- John took his doubt to the source of faith. He did not seek input from even his own disciples. He sent them to talk to the One who knew the answer – Jesus. If his doubt was sinful he would have sought an answer from other sources in which he trusted. His contact with Jesus proved his faith. John was not questioning who Jesus was so much as he was questioning the process Jesus was using to reveal His kingdom to the world.
- John’s doubt did not stop the work of Jesus. At the very time of John’s questioning, the process of the Messiah’s revelation to the world was progressing according to God’s plan. Our legitimate doubts do not interrupt or delay the glory of God’s purpose. Do not let Satan lay guilt on you for having legitimate questions that strengthen your faith.
- Jesus gave John all the evidence he needed to totally trust Him. Jesus told John that things are progressing just as Isaiah promised – “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
- Jesus called everyone “blessed” who trusts Him rather than trusts their circumstances. When times are bad, God is still good. Place your faith in the Person not in the process.
Enjoy letting your faith grow today as you consider these truths.