Jesus and John the Baptist 11 After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.[a] 2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
Matthew 11:1 - 30
NKJV - 1 Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities. 2 And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples
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One would think that, if anyone should have been unshakably certain of Jesus' identity as the Messiah, it would have been John the Baptist -- especially since it had been John himself who had initially identified Jesus as the Lamb of God, which had resulted in Jesus recruiting his first two apostles (Andrew and Simon Peter), and who would also have witnessed the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus when He was baptized (John 1:29-42). However, John (as a fallible human), and even though he was apparently aware through his own testimony that the purpose of Jesus' first coming was the sacrificial offering of Himself as an atonement for the sin of the world, may have become discouraged (particularly after his own imprisonment because of his condemnation of Herod for his affair with, and marriage to, his brother Philip's wife) as to why, if the Messiah had indeed already come, God's kingdom was not appearing more immediately with the type of spectacular visible signs that he (perhaps along with other Jews) expected, as well as why he himself was being allowed by God to suffer as he was. This, in my opinion, formed the basis of his question to Jesus. When John's disciples came to Jesus and expressed that uncertainty, Jesus did not reprimand either them or John for their questions, but told them to go back to John and tell him of the types of miracles that Jesus was performing, as well as of the gospel message that He was preaching, as signs that He was, in fact, the Messiah. Jesus also told them to encourage John by telling him that those who maintained their faith in Him would be blessed by God (Matthew 11:1-6). Jesus' answer to John's disciples is equally applicable to those today who are uncertain about Jesus' identity or mission. He was (and is) God's unique Messiah, and the only means that God has provided by which humans can receive forgiveness of their sins and eternal life in God's presence. There was no one else to expect or to keep looking for -- then or now.
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