Why did John the Baptist Doubt if Jesus was the Messiah?

And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? (Matthew 11:3 KJV)

John saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove upon Jesus to confirm Jesus as the Messiah(John 1:32). Despite this unprecedented miraculous sign from God to confirm His Son, the same John, who had confidently told the people Jesus was the Messiah, later sent his disciples to ask Jesus if He was the Messiah or not. What happened to John?

What happened to John is similar to what happens to us repeatedly today. While it occurred to John once, it buffets us almost every day. The weakness of our human nature questions even the surest proofs we have received from God in times of great hardship.

Though the Bible does not plainly tell us why John doubted, it does give us the circumstances under which this doubt erupted. King Herod had arrested John and put him in prison. Jesus, the Messiah, who performed miracles for others, apparently did nothing to set John free. The days went by, John waited, but still no breakthrough. Soon, the pressure of the hardship overshadowed the miraculous sign of confirmation he had received from God. He then doubted the very thing God told him—which he was so sure about before.

How often do we question what God has told us or the beautiful things He has done because the miracle we were expecting has not shown up the way we expected? Interestingly, Jesus did not rebuke John for his doubt. He reassured him by sending him back to remember the Word God had said about the Messiah( Matt. 11:4).

Read more: See all Deshen Daily devotionals on “Unbelief & Doubt”.

When was the last time you doubted what God had told you or His presence and power because of a painful situation you are dealing with?

Apply the Word

Doubt will knock on the door of your heart when the breakthrough you expect is not forthcoming. Even past miracles or signs might not be enough to help. You will have to do what Jesus told John to do: to go back to the Word God told you and dwell upon it (Matt. 11:4).

Ask the Spirit to help you overcome doubt when it shows up in your heart.

Read & Watch

Abraham the Father of Faith Doubts
I Believe; Help thou mine Unbelief
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