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Know God in a Year #60 How to Handle Doubt

John the Baptist was first to introduce Jesus to the people as their Messiah. He is also first (outside of Mary and Joseph) to share the honor of His suffering. Suffering is honor? When God trusts you to stay loyal, it is an honor.

Herod respects John as a holy man and likes listening to him, and John is honest with him about taking his brother’s wife. So Herod’s wife, Herodius, is angry and rages until he puts John in prison.

After his active, outdoor life, the dungeon feels oppressive. And as week after week passes, John’s disciples, allowed to visit him, begin asking questions that make this time even harder. “Why  doesn’t Jesus do something?” they ask, adding to John’s own questions.

John doesn’t understand Messiah’s work or kingdom, either. He knows his role is the fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy, and therefore expects Jesus to overthrow the oppressive power of Rome.

In the long, lonely hours, demons whisper that Jesus isn’t the Messiah, that John’s life work has been for nothing. Has he been unfaithful that he is put aside? Where is this Messiah who will reveal the God that answers by fire?

As time passes, with Jesus doing nothing to free him, doubt and despondency creep in. But wisely, John doesn’t discuss his fears with his followers. He remembers the baptism, the voice from heaven, and the visible Spirit.

So he sends two of his disciples to Jesus with a question, hoping to dismiss doubt and strengthen their faith. Secretly, he hopes, no longs, that Jesus will send a word directly to him as well.

Luke 7:19-23,  Matthew 11:1-6,  Mark 6:17-20

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