Doubt – The Saturday Morning Post

prison

Today’s Passage –Matthew 10 – 11 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 36 – 40; Proverbs 8)

Read the “1008 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities. Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” (Matthew 11:1-3)

Good morning. Have you ever doubted? Everyone doubts something once in a while. In our passage this morning we have John the Baptist in prison, hearing about the wonderful works of Jesus. And John questioned. Then sent two disciples to ask, “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?”

John was having doubts. Was Jesus the Messiah? One of the things making John doubt was the situation he was in. He was thrown into prison…

“But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him [JOHN THE BAPTIST] for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.” (Luke 3:19-20)

Not only did his situation give him doubts, but things were not as he expected them to be. John knew there was something special about Jesus, even from the womb…

“And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.” (Luke 1:39-45)

And John knew…

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)

So John, being in prison, was in a situation that caused him to doubt. Being in prison, his expectations were crushed: he could not do the job that the Lord had given him to do…

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins. And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey; And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.” (Mark 1:1-8)

There wasn’t too much John could do from prison. He was a messenger sent by God, and the voice of one crying in the wilderness, but his crushed expectations caused him to doubt. Crushed expectations added to his bad situation, and added to his doubt. Being in prison, John heard about the works of Christ: he probably heard other comments also…

“Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?” (Matthew 13:55-56)

“There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?” (John 10:19-20)

Being in prison, John heard the pros and the cons. The opinion of the world can also add to your doubts, as they added to John’s. Do you find yourself in a bad situation, with crushed expectations, and being influenced by the world? Is your faith on shaky ground? What can we do to get our focus back on God? First…

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

1 – Read Your Bible.

But keep James 1 in mind…

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (James 1:22-25)

2 – Exercise Your Faith

Get out of the boat…

“And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.” (Matthew 14:22-33)

As you read the Bible, you come to know about Jesus and put your faith in Him. As you exercise your faith, you get to know Jesus in a greater capacity that is more personal. You can read that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. But what good does it do you until you say, “Lord Jesus, save me!”

Jesus was right there with Peter when Peter cried out. Jesus is right there with you when you step out in faith, ready to pick you up too if you begin to sink. And getting back to John in prison, Jesus gave him the perfect answer…

“Jesus answered and said unto them, 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.” (Matthew 11:4-6)

There is a good passage in Romans chapter 8 to remember when your faith wavers…

“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:24-39)

Peace!


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