“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 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 KJV).
Previously, John the Baptist spoke to Herod Antipas, the residing king in Jerusalem, regarding his unlawful relations with his brother’s wife, Herodias. As a result, Herod Antipas took Herodias from his brother Philip. Herod Antipas ordered John’s arrest to silence him for the sake of Herodias.
While at a birthday celebration for Herod Antipas, Salome Herodias’ daughter from her marriage to Herod’s brother Philip, danced before the king, and it pleased him greatly. The king offered to give her anything up to half of his kingdom. Having been prompted by her mother, she asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Although he was grieved, the king commanded it because of his oath and the dinner guest who had witnessed it. It was Herodias’ desire to silence John once and forever (Matt. 14:1-12).
But why was John sitting in prison? He sent his disciples to ask Jesus this mind-boggling question, “Are You the One, or should we expect another?”
Was John confused? Or was satan attacking his mind with doubts about who Jesus was? What was John thinking when he sent two disciples to ask Jesus if He was The One?
Two was the sufficient number sent on an errand to ask a question and report the answer. Deuteronomy 17:6 reads, “For it is by the testimony of two or three to bear witness to the facts, lest we not believe” (Deut. 19:15).
It wasn’t that John was ignorant of who Jesus was; he sent his disciples to ask Jesus this question to remove their doubts and disbelief about Jesus’s identity. The disciples asked Jesus the question just as John requested, “Are you the one who was to come, or shall we expect someone else?” The Bible records that Jesus instructed John’s disciples to return to him (John) as witnesses to what they heard and saw (Matt. 11:4).
At that very time, Jesus cured many people of diseases, afflictions, and evil spirits. He gave sight to many who were blind, the lame walk, the lepers were cleansed, the deaf hears, the dead were raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them (Luke 7:21-23). They had seen many cured of infirmities, plagues, and evil spirits. The spiritually blind see and those born blind receive their sight. This was evidence of the Messiah-ship of our Lord Jesus. These are undoubted proof and a full demonstration that Jesus was the Messiah. These are the miracles that the messengers witnessed.
Biblical Facts That John Knew Jesus Was The One To Come:
- John was the forerunner who called out in the wilderness to make way for the Messiah, which was foretold by the Prophet Isaiah (Luke 3:4; John 1:23).
- John’s ministry was a ministry of repentance in preparation for the coming Messiah (John 1:26; Mark 1:14-15).
- John was first to see the Messiah coming; he announced, “Behold, the Lamb of God, which takes away the world’s sin (John 1:29).
- John came to baptize with water that Jesus might be revealed to Israel (John 1:31).
- John recognized that the sinless Son of God needed no baptism of repentance; therefore, he felt unworthy to baptize him and did not feel worthy to even lace his sandals. John knew his position in God’s Kingdom (Luke 3:16).
- Most of all, John saw the dove descend upon Jesus after he baptized him (Matt. 3:16; Mark 1:10).
- John also heard God’s voice announce Jesus as His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased (Matt: 3:17; Mark 1:11).
John’s baptism was a symbolic representation that foreshadowed what Jesus would accomplish in the New Testament. John was baptized with water, but Jesus was baptized with the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:8). Although John’s ministry and his life came to an abrupt end at the hands of King Herod, his beheading was an indication that there was a shift change. A change in leadership had taken place. Melchizedek was the Old Testament High Priest, but Jesus is the New Testament High Priest; Jesus is the High Priest of a better covenant (Heb. 5:6, 10).
DON’T LOSE YOUR HEAD!
Put on the whole armor of God and stand firm in your faith. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph. 6:13-14, 17).
Learn to take control of your thoughts:
- Know who you are in Christ and stand your ground! Stand on what you know about Christ and what you believe to be true. The enemy wants you to doubt the word of God. Therefore he attacks the head. He can stop your progress if he can get you to examine your beliefs.
- Take every thought captive! You have to pay attention to your thoughts and compare your ideas to the word of God. Casting down imaginations and everything that exhausts itself against the knowledge of God (2 Cor. 10:5). You must bring every thought into alignment with the word of God. It’s a faith battle; the battle takes place in the mind.
- Be alert and sober in your mind (1 Peter 5:8). Think with the mind of God (1 Cor. 2:16). Cover your head, the enemy, as a roaring lion seeks those he may devour. He wants to take your vision, and your image comes out of your head.
- Help other people who are around you by praying for them. Pray for the minds of your family members, friends, and associates. Praying for others is one of the greatest blessings you can give.
We can all learn from John’s tenacious belief in the coming Messiah and how he spent his days preparing the way for us (Matt.1:2). Like John, we, too, must lead others to Jesus. There are many roads, but there is only one way. Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father. Despite all opposition, John stood firm in his faith and his belief to the very end.
As Christians, we will have our faith tested throughout our walk. Sometimes, we falter, but we must continue to trust and stand firm in our faith to the very end. I pray that you were enlightened by this lesson. May you continue to gain wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of the holy things of God.