Is He the One?
When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” NIV
Are you the one… or should we expect someone else?
It was a strange question for John to ask. John was no ordinary man; he was the anointed messenger of God. While in his mother’s womb he was filled with the Holy Spirit and his whole life was dedicated to preparing the way for the long-awaited Messiah. He was the one given the privilege of baptizing Jesus at the Jordan River. This was the man who announced the beginning of Jesus’ ministry with the words, “Look the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). John was the man who also declared: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:33-34).
And yet here he was, languishing in a dark and dank prison, doubting his life’s work, wondering whether Jesus was really the Messiah, wondering if all those things that he himself had witnessed were real.
There are times when we too might sit in the dark and dank prison of doubt, when faith burns low, when we feel overwhelmed by situations and circumstances. We wonder if we heard right from God, if all those promises in the Bible are really for us, if we somehow missed the turning, missed the moment.
You know, Jesus did not condemn John for that moment of doubt. Instead, He set about healing the sick, casting out demons and preaching the good news of the Kingdom. And then He turned to John’s followers and said, “Go back and report to John what you see…” (Matthew 11:4). He was reminding John of the things the Holy Spirit revealed to John years ago about the Messiah and telling John that all those things were now coming to pass. His faith and his lifetime of service had not been in vain; he had not missed his calling or his destiny. It was his moment of trial and Jesus encouraged him to stand fast, to hold on to what he had heard and believed.
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, in those times when doubt and weariness begin to creep in, it is so important to go back to the Word of God and nourish your faith. Don’t look to the world for encouragement, or for answers, but seek God. Hold on to what you have heard and believed. Remember what God has done in your life, meditate on His goodness and mercy, and pray. God Himself will strengthen you, lift you up, fill you with His peace and give you strength to go on.