In Matthew chapter 3 John the Baptist had baptized Jesus. “As Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.’”
We are now reading in Matthew chapter 11. John the Baptist has been put in prison for rebuking Herod in public for marrying his sister-in-law. As John sits in prison, doubt and discouragement begin to plaque his mind. He begins to wonder if Jesus really is the Messiah.
2 John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, 3 “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting,or should we keep looking for someone else?” Matthew 11 NLT
John must have wondered if Jesus really was the Messiah, then why wasn’t Jesus taking charge and overcoming Herod? Why was he (John) in prison when he could have been out preaching. This was Jesus’ reply back to John:
4 Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen— 5 the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.” 6 And he added, “God blesses those who do not fall away because of me.” Matthew 11 NLT
Jesus answered John’s doubts by quoting prophecies John would have known were being fulfilled by Jesus. Jesus was healing those who were blind, lame, deaf, or had leprosy, raising the dead, and preaching the good news to the poor. With so much evidence, Jesus’ identity as the true Messiah was obvious.
John the Baptist heard the voice of God speak over Jesus Christ as he rose from the waters as he was baptized and yet, Satan was still able to plant the seeds of doubt and discouragement in John’s mind.
How did Jesus counteract John’s doubt? He brought prophecies (scripture) to his remembrance. When the enemy comes to you and tries to fill your mind with doubt and defeat you need to remember what the Word of God says. Look in the Word of God at all Jesus did and reflect on the changes and work he has already done in your life. Remember who Jesus is. Remember he is the true Messiah, the Son of God, Emmanuel.
Be encouraged today, dear friend, we all face times of discouragement, but we can be confident in the one who promised, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 20:18