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Thread: Did John the Baptist doubt Jesus?

  1. #1

    Did John the Baptist doubt Jesus?

    I haven't given much taught to this, but as in another thread topic brings up the question of being deceived, I taught of John and was reading...Matthew 11:2-3

    1And 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.
    2Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,
    3And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?
    This passage does not say one word in the direction that John the Baptist doubted the identity of Christ, but some come to the conclusion that there was no mistaking the fact that John wanted to know for sure if Jesus was indeed the Expected One.

    But as I read and examine the scriptures many passages of the Bible make it clear that John the Baptist was a true believer, so the general context of the Bible teaches us that John the Baptist would never doubt the identity of Christ and would never make God a liar by refusing the testimony that He gave about His Son and which John himself declared:

    “And I knew him not; but he who sent me to baptise with water, he said to me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and abiding on him, he it is who baptises with [the] Holy Spirit. And I have seen and borne witness that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:33-34)
    John sent his disciples when he heard about the works that Jesus was doing. Now, as Jesus didn’t tell John something new as a proof concerning His identity but gave him an explanation about some facts concerning His Kingdom, so the doubt or confusion of John was not turning around the identity of Jesus. John heard about the works of Jesus, and the answer of Jesus was like “look at my works!”… Do you think this is an appropriate answer addressed to a believer like John concerning a doubt related to the identity of Christ? John already knew that Jesus is the Christ. In fact, he was the one who declared the beginning of His ministry to Israel.
    One of the key truths that help understand the question of John is the condition of his disciples. Before this event in which these disciples are commanded by John to go ask Jesus, anytime we meet the disciples of John we see them in disagreement and opposition with Jesus.

    “Then come to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees often fast, but thy disciples fast not? And Jesus said to them, Can the sons of the bridechamber mourn so long as the bridegroom is with them? But days will come when the bridegroom will have been taken away from them, and then they will fast. But no one puts a patch of new cloth on an old garment, for its filling up takes from the garment and a worse rent takes place. Nor do men put new wine into old skins, otherwise the skins burst and the wine is poured out, and the skins will be destroyed; but they put new wine into new skins, and both are preserved together.” (Matthew 9:14-17)
    You see how the disciples of John in this passage put themselves in the same camp with the Pharisees and ask Jesus for an explanation concerning a “problem” in His disciples’ fasting… And we see how Jesus answers them: He clarifies to them that the New Covenant fasting is not like the Old Covenant fasting, and the real Bridegroom is Him, Jesus. This shows that the disciples of John were still insisting on following the Old Covenant way, when the Christ had already come. They wanted to put a patch of new cloth on an old garment.

    The disciples of John once also had a strong debate with the Jews concerning purification: was it their master’s, John’s baptism that purified, or was it the Christ’s baptism? Their misunderstanding about the baptism of John which was the baptism of repentance pointing to Christ whose blood alone can purify us. So the disciples of John missed the whole point, and concentrated on the sign of baptism rather than on the essence.

    “There was therefore a reasoning of the disciples of John with a Jew about purification. And they came to John and said to him, Rabbi, he who was with thee beyond the Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, he baptises, and all come to him.” (John 3:25-26)
    The answer is: John did not send his disciples to Jesus because of any doubt in himself concerning Jesus’ identity. That simple. The problem was with the disciples of John. Therefore, the passage of Luke makes it clear that Jesus didn’t simply answer the question of those disciples, but in that hour. He made some miracles before them! And this was the purpose of John from sending his disciples to Jesus: that they may see His works by themselves and hear His testimony. They now received the testimony practically, and when they returned to John, he certainly explained to them how what Jesus told them was the fulfillment of the prophecies that talked about Christ.

    “His disciples came and took away the body and buried it; and they went and reported to Jesus.” (Matthew 14:12)
    So the disciples had to finally understand that Jesus was the Messiah, the one who was to come, and they should cease to wait or look for another… And John reached his goal by sending his disciples to Jesus.

    So whats your thoughts on this?

  2. #2
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    My take... JTB was pouting, not doubting. He wanted to be set free from prison and who could blame him. He heard of Jesus works and sent word to him. Jesus response... "Blessed is he who is not offended in me". IOW, "You'll be happier if you don't get offended at the way I run my business."

    Good post, BTW.
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    My take... JTB was pouting, not doubting. He wanted to be set free from prison and who could blame him. He heard of Jesus works and sent word to him. Jesus response... "Blessed is he who is not offended in me". IOW, "You'll be happier if you don't get offended at the way I run my business."

    Good post, BTW.
    I see what you mean. I also would think maybe that John was seeing in the works of Jesus the Lamb of God and may have being looking for the Lion of juda.
    [ should I look for another] Were John would be freed, I also think many of Jesus discples were also aspecting the Messiah to be a lion of a ruler to free them from their oppessors.

    But still can't get away come John knowing whom Jesus was... Being the Son of God.
    "And I have seen and borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

  4. #4
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    We may also get insight into John by what he preached.
    He baptized as people confessed sins.
    He preached wrath to come.
    He preached bear fruit in keeping with a change of mind,
    He preached One coming after him was mightier, who would baptize with Holy Spirit and fire,
    He preached One who was to winnow and thresh the fields, gathering those who were His into the barn and the chaff burned with unquenchable fire.
    You know John was preaching He expected the Messiah and King of the Jews, who would baptize, refine and separate those Who were His and bring them into the kingdom, while the chaff was burned in judgment fire for eternity. He was preaching the triumphant Messiah Who would purge the sheep from the goats and bring in the Kingdom.
    Instead John was told that Jesus was healing the Blind, the lame, the deaf. Lepers were healed, the dead raised and the gospel preached to the poor. Perhaps, if we see a little into Who John was expecting and Who John heard of, then we can understand why John may have been close to being offended.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by My heart's Desire View Post
    You know John was preaching He expected the Messiah and King of the Jews, who would baptize, refine and separate those Who were His and bring them into the kingdom, while the chaff was burned in judgment fire for eternity. He was preaching the triumphant Messiah Who would purge the sheep from the goats and bring in the Kingdom.
    Instead John was told that Jesus was healing the Blind, the lame, the deaf. Lepers were healed, the dead raised and the gospel preached to the poor. Perhaps, if we see a little into Who John was expecting and Who John heard of, then we can understand why John may have been close to being offended.
    You bring some good insight, it's not the idenity of Jesus that were in question or doubted but the works of Jesus. John must been expecting an triumphant Messiah.

    What would "offended"mean?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beckrl View Post
    What would "offended"mean?
    Jesus sent word to John that he was healing the lame, the blind, and the deaf. These people didn't love him like John did. He said nothing to John about delivering him from prison. So here was Jesus helping people who were not close to him but leaving John to suffer and die in prison. And the word to John? "Blessed are you if you are not offended in me."
    Last edited by Brother Mark; Dec 31st 2009 at 05:54 AM.
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

  7. #7
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    Perhaps, John may have had an opportunity to be offended because after all his preaching that the Messiah would come as prophecied bringing in the kingdom and the end of the age, and it appeared to Him that Jesus wasn't doing that after all. From what I understand Israel understood a victorious Messiah but didn't understand a suffering Savior. Some from what I understand where looking for 2 different ones because they didn't think the Messiah would be both, suffering and yet victorious.
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  8. #8
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    You know, Zacharia's and Elizabeth were very old when they had John and I wonder if they lived long enough to raise John a certain amount of time to be able to repeat the story and tell John the prophecy that Zacharias stated in Luke 1:67-79? If so, John would expect redemption for God's people by a horn of salvation who would save them from their enemies but who would also forgive them of their sins. He would also know from verse 76 if it was repeated as the story, that John himself would be that prophet of the Most High who would prepare the Way. That is if the story of Mary, Zacharias, Elizabeth was repeated through families. I wonder if they told him that he would be the forerunner for the Messiah to arrive?
    I would think that if something unusual had happened at my birth or before that would affect me later in life, surely my mom or someone would tell me when I got older. Ya know what I mean?
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by My heart's Desire View Post
    We may also get insight into John by what he preached.
    He baptized as people confessed sins.
    He preached wrath to come.
    He preached bear fruit in keeping with a change of mind,
    He preached One coming after him was mightier, who would baptize with Holy Spirit and fire,
    He preached One who was to winnow and thresh the fields, gathering those who were His into the barn and the chaff burned with unquenchable fire.
    You know John was preaching He expected the Messiah and King of the Jews, who would baptize, refine and separate those Who were His and bring them into the kingdom, while the chaff was burned in judgment fire for eternity. He was preaching the triumphant Messiah Who would purge the sheep from the goats and bring in the Kingdom.
    Instead John was told that Jesus was healing the Blind, the lame, the deaf. Lepers were healed, the dead raised and the gospel preached to the poor. Perhaps, if we see a little into Who John was expecting and Who John heard of, then we can understand why John may have been close to being offended.
    This is correct! JTB preached the earthy kingdom. Jesus' response was exactly what we see in context....when John was put in prison Jesus said time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God (not heaven) is at hand, repent AND believe the gospel.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by My heart's Desire View Post
    Perhaps, John may have had an opportunity to be offended because after all his preaching that the Messiah would come as prophecied bringing in the kingdom and the end of the age, and it appeared to Him that Jesus wasn't doing that after all. From what I understand Israel understood a victorious Messiah but didn't understand a suffering Savior. Some from what I understand where looking for 2 different ones because they didn't think the Messiah would be both, suffering and yet victorious.
    Again, that's very insightful. Would it be that John was looking for another because of Jesus works?

    Which was healing the blind,cleaning the lepers, the deaf to hear, raising up the dead, and preaching the gospel to the poor.

    The idenity of Jesus, John had not doubts of as being the Son of God the Messiah. Although he may have had another idea of the "works" of the Messiah. Should not the Messiah be as a Lion of Juda which should rule with a rod of iron. At lest that is what John preached;

    Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Matthew 3:12
    And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel matthew 2:6
    Remember John preached hell fire and repentance, but heared of the works of Jesus and may have questions, at lest one question.

    And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Matthew 11:3
    So we may find the reason why Jesus responed to the question of John by given "Go tell John again those things which ye do hear and see." Were as Jesus ending with....
    And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me
    Or offended by my works. Not only did John and his disciples question the One to come, but also Jesus disciples missed understood alot of the time whom Jesus the Messiah was; As the Lamb of God and not that ruler with a rod in his hand the Lion of Juda.

    How do John the apostle view this in revelation? He heard that the Lion of Juda would open the book, but then looked and saw the Lamb.

    4And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
    5And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
    6And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
    7And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. Revelation 5:4-7

  11. #11
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    There is also another point, the four big chapters in the NT dealing with signs of the second coming, Mat 24, Mar 13, Luk 21 and 2Thes 2 they all have this statement in common, "let no man deceive you".

    Do not let anyone, not even the greatest man born of woman, do not let even John the baptist tell you what to believe regarding fulfilment of prophecies, do not base your understanding of future events or how prophecy will be fulfiilled based on a man's interpretation.

    Shalom

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Servant89 View Post
    There is also another point, the four big chapters in the NT dealing with signs of the second coming, Mat 24, Mar 13, Luk 21 and 2Thes 2 they all have this statement in common, "let no man deceive you".

    Do not let anyone, not even the greatest man born of woman, do not let even John the baptist tell you what to believe regarding fulfilment of prophecies, do not base your understanding of future events or how prophecy will be fulfiilled based on a man's interpretation.

    Shalom
    That is a good point for the disciples of John in which he told them to go ask Jesus , but in turn told John again what they heard and saw. Then many followed Jesus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beckrl View Post
    That is a good point for the disciples of John in which he told them to go ask Jesus , but in turn told John again what they heard and saw. Then many followed Jesus.
    That is a good point for the disciples of Jesus. The NT teaches us not to let man deceive us regarding interpretation of prophecy. Not even the greatest man born of woman was good on that department.

    Shalom

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    I don't think it has anything to do with deception by men except in regards to a lack of biblical knowledge and or revelation. In the case of biblical knowledge, Jesus told Nicodemus,
    are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? If he knew Ezekiel, he would have understood.
    In the case of revelation, we have Jesus asking Simon Peter and the disciples "Who do you say that I am"? Peter answering said "You are the Christ" etc..to which Jesus replied " flesh and blood did not reveal this to you,, but My Father who is in heaven.

    1 Corth. 2:13-14
    which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
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  15. #15
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    Four times we are told in the NT "do not let men deceive you" regarding interpretation of prophecies.

    John the Baptist failed to interpret the prophecies concering himself. The angel told his dad that he was going to come in the spirit and power of Elijah, he even dressed like Elijah and yet, when someone asked him "are you Elijah" he said no and Jesus had to correct that statement.

    The greatest man born of women blew it in that department. That is a fact. And when John sent his disciples to Jesus to ask him if he was the Messiah, Jesus did not send him back the word of a man, Jesus said (listen up!), share with John the historical data that indicates prophecies have been fulfilled, tell him what you saw and heard and let the data do the talking instead of listening to the word of man. Jesus also said: Jn 5:31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

    John blew it here...

    1 Cor 4:7 ... now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

    Shalom

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