John the Baptist began his ministry preparing the way for the Messiah. He wanted everyone to be ready for Him. He was also present when Jesus was baptized. A few years later, in his darkest hour as he sat in his jail cell, John doubted what he once knew as fact. Haven’t we all been there? I know I have. When situations become exhausting and there seems to be no way out, before my faith kicks in I wonder if God will ever answer my prayers.
John sent two messengers to find Jesus and ask this question, “Are you really the Messiah or should we look for another?” How easy it would have been for Jesus to say “YES I am, what was he thinking?” But instead, He turned and began to heal the sick, command the lame to walk and cured diseases. He told John’s messengers, “Go and tell all that you see. The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised.”
After the messengers left, He faced the crowd and told of John’s ministry and that he was a great prophet (in spite of his doubting questions.) Jesus quoted the Scripture in Isaiah predicting John’s ministry. Had the messengers heard Jesus’ statements and delivered this news to John, it probably would have turned Johns sorrow into joy, and brought comfort from a friend while locked in jail. Instead, Jesus knew what he needed. John didn’t need someone to tell him how great he was, he needed his faith rebuilt. He reminded John’s messengers to tell of the miracles John witnessed early in his ministry. This is a lesson for us today, when our troubles become overwhelming, we don’t need people to make us feel better with flattering words, we need to be reminded of the gospel message, Jesus heals, and saves!
Luke 7:18-35 Matthew 11:1-19