Do you doubt God at times?
By Kurt Bomar
Text: Luke 7:18-28
John was prophesied as the messenger who would announce the coming of the Messiah. Even before birth, he leaped in the womb at the approach of Jesus. He trained for this job. He announced that he wasn’t worthy to untie the shoes of Jesus. He baptized Jesus. And then a strange thing happened; he doubted who Jesus was.
18 John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19 he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” 20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’ “ 21
Why did he doubt? Probably because like all the other Jews, he was expecting Jesus to do at his first coming what he will do at his second coming, by power and might sit on the throne in Jerusalem and judge the world. But for whatever reason, John didn’t have the full picture and he doubted.
At that very time, Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses, and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22 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 cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 23 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
Why didn’t Jesus just say “yes”? Then His answer would only have been as good as his word. Jesus knew that John knew the scriptures, so remove all doubt he pointed John to the scriptures so he could ground his faith in them. (Isaiah 29:18-21 and 35:5-6). By saying this, John didn’t even have to take Jesus’ word for it. He would have known that it would be a fulfillment of Scripture.
Notice in his response, Jesus doesn’t condemn John for doubting. In fact, he lifts him up.
24 After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? … A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27 This is the one about whom it is written: ” ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ 28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John…”
There is a huge lesson for us to learn here. In all likelihood, we will have times of doubting. If the greatest man ever born of a woman did, we probably will too. And Jesus will tell us the same thing he told John. He won’t jump on us and scold us. Rather he will communicate to us what we need to know to ground our faith on a rock. (Billy Graham had such a moment as did many of the greatest Christian leaders in Church history).
The second lesson is, if it’s not you doubting, rather a loved one, don’t despair. Jesus knows how to respond to him. It is better to have doubts, voice them, and let God deal with them than to pretend they don’t exist and compound the problem.
Selah (think about it)
Kurt Bomar is the pastor of Walnut Grove Church located in Avery County. You are welcome to join them on Sundays at 11:00 AM for worship! (When we are allowed to meet in the building again). You can read more from Kurt Bomar HERE.