By Ysrael De la Cruz
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been a Christian; there are times in your life when you experience doubts. We all experience it from time to time in our journey as followers of Jesus. Doubt is a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction. When things do not go as we expect it, we may be overwhelmed with doubts and insecurities. We know Thomas was not convicted that Jesus had risen from the dead. He demanded proof. Peter experienced doubt when he paid more attention to his circumstances than to Jesus. He felt the wind, looked at the waves and doubted. He felt insecure; he lacked confidence and therefore began to sink.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been following Jesus; you are confronted with uncertainties, insecurities in life. Sometimes, we may doubt God’s presence, his protection on our behalf. We may doubt his power to get us out of a situation. We may doubt his love for us when we sin; we are insecure about his forgiveness. If you are wrestling with doubts, I want you to know that all the apostles of Jesus also struggled with it. Matt.28:17 (They did not believe the women’s testimony about the resurrection)
And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Luke 24:38
All the apostles struggled with lack of conviction and doubts even after the resurrection.
I thought if there was a man during the time of Jesus who truly never doubted, it must be John the Baptist. But I was wrong in thinking John never had doubts. You know John the Baptist, right? He was the one who baptized Jesus and prepared the way for the Messiah to come. But even John the Baptist wrestled with doubts; he was uncertain about Jesus’ identity. You heard that right. Even John the Baptizer had second thoughts about Jesus.
I could not believe it when I read this.
John was arrested right before Jesus began his public ministry, so he did not get the chance to hear Jesus preach and perform miracles. You see, John circumstances changed. He sent some of his disciples to ask Jesus a question that would put an end to his doubts.
“Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another? (v.3)
How is this possible that John now second guessed himself regarding Jesus? John lacked conviction about Jesus being the expected Messiah.
I don’t know about you, but I truly think this is very strange for John to even ask Jesus this question.
John’s testimony of Jesus:
-He began to preach before Jesus appeared “Repent the kingdom of God is at hand.” Matt.3:2
-He baptized Jesus; he came to prepare the way of the Lord. John the Baptist is the fulfillment of a prophecy in Isaiah 40:3 // Matt.3:3 The voice of one calling in the wilderness: “prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”
He appeared as a witness to the light that was coming to the world. John 1:7
-HE introduced Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. John 1:29
He saw the Spirit descend on Jesus at baptism and John testified saying. “This is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.” John 1:33-34
One moment John testified that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and the next moment he is not sure if he is the one. John was feeling like, was I wrong about you Jesus? John the Baptist was filled with uncertainties during his time in prison. The circumstances changed and things were not going as he expected.
He heard about what Jesus was doing (Matt.11:2) He heard about the works of Jesus and he sent some of his disciples to ask Jesus if he was the one.
“Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” (v.3)
Jesus’s response: V.4
-Go and tell John what you hear and see: 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.
It is as though Jesus said, what more evidence do you need. Look at the evidence of what is going on. This is the answer to your question. The Messiah would do these things. Isaiah 61
(v.6) “And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
Blessed is the person who does not stumble on account of me.(does not fall away on account of me); John was tripping over his expectation of the Messiah. He was stumbling over Jesus with doubts. Doubting God is to stumble over him. (to fall away on account of him, to be offended by him) it is to trip over Jesus and he is calling to stop tripping and believe.
Jesus welcomes your doubts, insecurities, lack of conviction. He knows you struggle with them. He wants you to give them to him. John had questions in his mind, then he went to the one who could provide the answer. “Are you the one?” Jesus said, look at the works I am doing already. Going to God with your doubts will bring answer to your questions and certainty to your confusion.
Jesus is welcoming your doubts; what is it you are not sure of concerning God? In what areas of your life are you still doubting God? Still lacking confidence regarding what God is telling you to do? Talk to him about it.
One way you could truly irradicate doubts from your life when it comes to trusting God is for you to strive to get to know him better. When you truly know him, then you too will know that there is nothing impossible for him. That he still works, even when you don’t see him. God is inviting you to get to know him, to know his track record, his deeds. He is constant!
Jesus said we are blessed if we don’t trip over him. IF we don’t fall away on account of him. We are blessed if we don’t let our doubts and insecurities make us stumble over Jesus.