John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” (Matthew 11:2–3)
How would you feel if someone you loved and trusted began to question you? You might feel offended. What do they know, after all?
When John sent word to Jesus from prison and asked, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” (Matthew 11: 3), Jesus didn’t rebuke him. He didn’t say, “How dare John doubt Me? My own cousin! He should have known better” or “John? Come on, give me a break! You know he’s a little strange, right? The animal skins . . . and who eats locusts? That’s my cousin! Maybe it was something in his diet.”
It was a good opportunity to throw someone under the bus. But Jesus didn’t do that. Instead, he brought John back to Scripture: “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen—the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor” (verses 4–5). Then He said, “God blesses those who do not fall away because of me” (verse 6).
Here is what Jesus was saying: “Listen, you just let John know this: Even if you don’t understand My method, even if you don’t grasp My ways or My timing, I am asking you to trust Me. When you are unable to see why I am doing what I am doing, or why I am not doing what you think I ought to be doing, hang in there. Follow Me. Don’t be offended because of this.”
Our Lord understood this was an attack of the enemy. He understood what loneliness and solitude could do.
God never rebukes anyone who comes to Him with sincere questions or honest doubts.