December 16, 2022 – Matthew 11:2-15 – Doubts

Today we will be reading from Matthew 11:2-15:

2 When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” 4 Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, those with a skin disease are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. 6 And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”

7 As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 What, then, did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. 9 What, then, did you go out to see? A prophet?Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written,
‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way before you.’
“Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist, yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and violent people take it by force. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John came, 14 and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15 Let anyone with ears listen!

I love this passage so much. It’s one of the ones that I think says a lot.  In this passage, we see that John is in prison.  He is there because he preached against the king and how he lived.  One thing that has been true across time and space is that you don’t want to go to prison. It’s not really a fun and pleasant thing.  

John had a lot of influence in his life. He was out by the Jordan River baptizing, and people would come for miles to hear him preach and be baptized.  He has disciples.  He was a really big deal. Standing up to the king didn’t go well for him, so now he is in prison. 

And you know what he does?  He doubts.  He asks himself, was Jesus really the Messiah?  Did he get it wrong?  Was he mistaken?  What if he was wrong?  He is now doubting and questioning.  He sends his disciples to Jesus, saying, are you really the one? 

Let’s review who John was.  He lept in his mother’s womb when Mary came to visit Elizabeth.  He knows Jesus; he has known Jesus.  He baptized Jesus. He told his disciples to follow Jesus. He called Jesus the Lamb of God. He said he must decrease, and Jesus must increase.  This isn’t just some guy who has heard Jesus preach once or twice.  He KNOWS who Jesus is.  

And yet, at this moment, he doubts. 

John the Baptist doubts.  

Do you know what this says to me?  We will all have our doubts.  We will all struggle at times.  We will all have difficult seasons and difficult moments. We will. We will doubt.  Maybe some of us won’t, but most of us will. 

I know that I have. 

And look how Jesus responds. Does He condemn?  Does He rebuke?  Does He speak against?  

No, he says John is the best of us.  And He has pointed you to the Messiah. 

Today, Jesus loves you more than your doubts, your struggles, your weaknesses, your whatever.  You are loved today.  You are.  Even if you doubt.  Or even when you doubt.  You are loved.  He can handle your doubts, your struggles, your fears, your very life.  

He loves you, no matter what. 

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