Each one of us carries doubts within our hearts, and it is those who deeply grapple with their faith who come to realize this truth. It often frightens us because we believe we are alone in our struggles, but we are not. Let us remember the man who questioned, “Are you the one, or should we wait for someone else?” Christ Himself regarded him highly. (Matthew 11:2-3)
When John, confined in prison, heard of the Messiah’s deeds, he dispatched his disciples to inquire, “Are you the anticipated one, or should we expect another?” (Matthew 11:2-3) Yet, in Matthew 11:11, Jesus proclaimed, “Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist.”
You would be surprised by the conversations I have had with people about their doubts—truly surprised. I must keep their confessions to myself, but I yearn for them to be more open about it. Everyone grapples with doubt. In some ways, each person’s doubt is unique, just as their personality is. However, they all fit into certain categories. Some doubt their salvation, others question the authenticity of the Bible. Some doubt God’s love for them, while others question the sincerity of their own belief. And there are those who doubt everything. Yet, if the greatest man to have ever lived, second only to Christ Himself, could experience such a fundamental doubt about his faith shortly before his death, why should we be surprised by our own doubts?
We all see only a blurred reflection in the mirror of understanding (1 Cor. 13:2). We will all live with varying degrees of doubt until the moment we see Him face-to-face. When that time comes, we will breathe a sigh of relief and silently affirm, “We were right.” Christ proclaimed that the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11). Why is this so? It is because their doubts will be replaced by unwavering faith. However, here on earth, until redemption is fully realized, we live with the plea, “I believe; help my unbelief.”
Perhaps these depictions of John can serve as an encouragement to you today.