The One Sure Way to Overcome Doubt
No one is immune to doubt.
It happens to us all—even the man Jesus considered the greatest. Jesus said, “… there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist” (Matt. 11:11).
John’s entire life was committed to preparing the way for the Christ. He spent 30 years preparing for a six-month ministry. God had revealed to him that he would know who the Christ was. He would see the Spirit of God descending on the Messiah in bodily shape as a dove. That came to pass when John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River.
At that time, John was absolutely certain that Jesus was the Christ. He had zero doubt. But after being imprisoned for a period of time, he began to doubt.
How did Jesus respond to John’s doubt? He told John’s disciples to go back and tell him of the miracles they had witnessed and that John would be blessed if he would just believe. That’s it. Jesus didn’t try and make John feel better by letting him know He understood his pain or by making a few complimentary comments.
This puzzled me for many years. Why didn’t Jesus compliment John the Baptist in the hearing of his disciples so they could have brought him that word? It seemed to me like that would have helped John more than just telling him to look at the miracles, and he’ll be blessed if he believes.
Years after I first had these questions, I was reading from Isaiah 35 and came across this passage:
“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert” (Is. 35:5-6).
It suddenly struck me this was exactly the answer Jesus gave to John’s messengers. Look at what Jesus said in Matthew 11:4-6:
“… Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.”
Jesus performed all the miracles Isaiah prophesied He would do and more. He perfectly fulfilled the prophecy about Himself, and then referred John the Baptist back to that word. Jesus reminded John of the scriptures to deal with his doubts.
That is Jesus’ method of dealing with our doubts.