How To Handle Doubts & Questions
Read Matthew 11:1-3. John the Baptist was imprisoned by Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great. (See Mark 6:17; Luke 3:19-20). Antipas had a brother, Phillip, who lived in Rome with his wife Herodias. While in Rome, Antipas seduced Herodias and persuaded her to divorce Phillip and marry him. John the Baptist publicly condemned this sinful marriage. At Herodias' insistence, Antipas arrested John and placed him in prison
Read Mark 6:20. Antipas both admired and feared John. Herodias, however, used her daughter as a pawn and eventually caused Antipas to have John beheaded (See Mark 6:21-28; Matthew 14:6-11). Today's lesson takes place about a year after Johm was imprisoned.
Read Matthew 11:1-3; Luke 7:17-19. What kind of man was this John the Baptist? See Luke 7:24-25. Was he a puney, weak-kneed somebody? Was he a softie, easily swayed? See Matthew 3:1-4. Some probably labeled him a lunatic. John was mighty in spirit. He was steadfast. He had just stood up against Antipas a year ago. He was dedicated and committed to his calling. See Luke 7:26-28.
Yet, he doubted. But before we criticize him too harshly, let us take inventory of our own faith. Have we ever doubted? John the Baptist is about to teach us some very important truths about handling doubt. Let's see if we can discover these truths.
1. We can raise questions with Jesus. This is what John did (Matthew 11:3). Jesus is interested in our questions. "Ask, seek, knock" (Matthew 7:7).
2. It is wise to go to the right source for answers. To whom did John turn for spiritual guidence? Jesus is bigger than all our questions and doubts. Do you want answers to life's dillemas? Ask the Expert on life - The Creator (Philippians 4:19).
3. Questions and doubts should drive us to Jesus, not away from Him. And turning to Him should be our initial response (See 1 Peter 5:7; Matthew 11:28).
4. Answers will come from earnest seeking. Jesus wants to answer our questions and calm our doubts. He has the answer to all our questions. However, He will answer in His own time, and in His own way. And we must be willing to accept His answer, whatever it is, and whenever it comes.
5. Jesus' answer usually requires an act of faith. Consider Jesus' reply to John (See Matthew 11:22-23).
I welcome you to visit my page, How to Have a Full and Meaningful Life, then, my Feedback Page and send me your comments, or request additional information. I would be delighted to hear from you! Do you wish to return to The Bible Studies Page?
May God speak to your heart! Bob Conar