I was reading Luke 7 this morning and was struck by verses 18 – 23.
John the Baptist was in prison (As we see in the parallel passage of Matthew 11: 2 – 9)
In Luke 7: 19 John sent messengers to Jesus. They asked Jesus if He was the Messiah or should we look for another.
Whoah! This is quite a different view of things from what John boldly declared, “Behold the Lamb of God” when He saw Jesus standing by the Jordan River waiting to be baptised.
So, what changed John’s view between that time at the Jordan and the time of this story, when he was in prison?
Likely several things:
– Expectations – John like many others had hoped for a Messiah that would come boldly and quickly free the Jews from the tyranny of the Romans.
Jesus had not done this.
– Discouragement – John had been in prison for a while now, presumably for speaking against King Herod for his immorality.
Prisons in that day were an ugly place to live.
I would not be surprised if discouragement and loneliness had set into John.
I love Jesus’ response to John’s disciples: Go tell him that:
– The blind see
– The lame walk
– The lepers are cleansed
– The deaf hear
– The dead are raised
– The poor have the Gospel preached to them.
Jesus was giving clear evidence that He was the Messiah.
Jesus had not come to fulfill men’s expectations and bring a quick military kingdom change.
He came to do the Father’s will.
We would do well to know the state of our own hearts.
Has unbelief set in to our hearts?
Are we even aware when it sets in?
What can we do to encourage ourselves when unbelief sets in?
I recommend going back and re-reading the Gospels and freshly reminding ourselves of the living Jesus who we have put our trust in.
Also we can remind ourselves of the wonderful works He did, and of His power to work in our lives in the present!