December 26, 2019

Momentary Doubt

Written by Tripp Prince

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 26, 2019

When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” Matthew 11:2-3

Matthew 11 presents us with a bit of a “deep cut” in the John the Baptist catalogue. If you know John’s story at all, likely you think of the baptism of Jesus or John covered in camel’s skin eating bugs in the wilderness. Yet here we find John in prison, sending his disciples to ask Jesus the question every single person must ask of the Lord, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?”

Some have read this passage and wondered if John was losing his faith. After such boldness  preparing the way for Jesus, is he now overrun with doubt? I don’t think so. I believe John, facing his death, has a new set of questions in his own life and story – namely, his own impending suffering and death – and he needs to know that the Jesus he spent his life pointing others to will be with him in his time of trial. John looks to Jesus and says, “Are you the messiah in death even as you are in life?”

Wherever you may find yourself today, you likely have very real questions that you are wrestling with, longing for the Lord to bring clarity and direction. “Where should I work?” “Where should I live?” “Where should my kids go to school?” “Will God heal this relational wound?” “Will I ever have friends and community like I used to have?” “Is this my final hour?”

In a sense, these questions, when turned towards the Lord in prayer, are all a version of John’s words, “Are you the one?” We say to the Lord, “We’ve followed you this far, and have seen your faithfulness in so many ways, yet these are new and uncharted waters. We need to know that you are with us in this new season, this next chapter.” 

“Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them” (Matthew 11:4-5).

When we are filled with doubts and fears, Jesus reminds us to see the signs of his Kingdom bursting forth all around us. The blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, even the dead are raised! This is the power of God at work in creation, and it is his power at work in you. If the Lord is with us in our final hour of need, we can trust that he is with us day in and day out, teaching us to live by faith and believe that he is working for our good and his glory.


Father, remind us of your nearness and goodness to us, no matter what we face or where we find ourselves, through Christ our Lord. Amen.


What is your greatest fear in this season of life? Invite the Lord into that fear, asking him to fill you with faith and courage.

Related Reading

John 16:33; 2 Corinthians 2:14; Philippians 4:13

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