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February 29, 2016

When Doubts Arise, Part 2

Grace to you! Last week we looked at how we, like John the Baptist, doubt Jesus at times. We saw that John’s suffering in prison and an unmet expectation tempted him to question who Jesus was and what He was doing. This week we’ll some other things that foster doubt and how Jesus answers them.

Luke 7:18-23 says, “ 18 The disciples of John reported all these things to him. And John, 19 calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 20 And when the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?'” 21 In that hour he healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind he bestowed sight. 22 And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. 23 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

Recall how faithful John had been to preaching Jesus. Yet now he gets rewarded with prison for all of his faithfulness. This struggle is often the same with believers who have sought to honor the Lord Jesus in their lives. It can seem the more we try to be faithful to Jesus the harder things get.

Further, John most likely stumbled was happy about the Father’s plan for Jesus. John thought that the fullness of the kingdom of God was going to come at any moment. God’s enemies would once and for all be done away with and the righteous would finally be rewarded. (See Luke 3:9) Yet Jesus basically says, “The kingdom is here. It has started. But the fullness of the kingdom is still future.” We too can feel doubts arise when God doesn’t work out His plans according to our imagined time tables!

So how does Jesus minister to John and his doubts? First, Jesus doesn’t reject him for doubting Him. This is amazing grace! Imagine if Jesus gave up on us the moment we doubted Him! We’d all be ruined! Second, Jesus sends help back to John. Jesus could have demanded John’s helpers stay with Him but He sends them back to John for comfort and reassurance. Biblical friendship is a key to overcoming doubts in our lives. Third, Jesus points John back to the Scriptures that predicted what the Messiah was going to do. There’s no remedy like the old worn path of going back to the word of God over and over. So instead of your doubts leading you away from God’s Word, let the doubts drive you back to the surety of God’s word.

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