Week 10 Devo – THURSDAY

Jesus Doesn’t Shame Doubters; He Sharpens Us, Part 2

Describe Jesus’ response to John the Baptist. What does this teach us about Jesus?

Jesus could have shamed John the Baptist for doubting. He could have said, “How could you doubt me after all you’ve seen and heard? What kind of believer are you?” Jesus could have shunned John, too: “Hey, just trust and believe. You don’t need to know the answer to your question.” And that would have shattered him. Instead, Jesus sharpened him! Notice that Jesus responded directly to John the Baptist’s question with evidence, not emotion.

“Go and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news.” —Matthew 11:4–5

Jesus reminds us that faith is not what we feel but what we believe! Faith does not equal certainty; instead, faith equals trusting God through uncertainty. In His reply to the imprisoned John the Baptist, Jesus said, “The dead are raised” (Matthew 11:5; Luke 7:22).

Jesus is referred to as the Messiah, with Messiah meaning “the promised deliverer.” With this definition in mind, how does the Resurrection of the dead tie in with Jesus’ title as the Messiah or “promised deliverer?

Next, notice how Jesus affirmed John, “Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one greater than John the Baptist has appeared” (Matthew 11:11). Here’s the application and passage payoff: God can use our doubts to propel us to a much stronger and sharper faith if we let Him. We can rest in knowing that Jesus will never shun us for doubting, but He also wants us to bring our doubts directly to Him.

Another immediate next step from today’s Bible study should be a renewed commitment to surround ourselves with growing Christians. John’s friends stood with him in his doubt. Curiosity should mark the lives of all believers who love God with all their heart, soul and mind. We must be curious and doubt our doubts, not just our beliefs. A by-product of being curious and thinking Christianly is that our questions will snowball, stimulating conversation and growing our faith because Jesus is big enough to handle our questions and answer our doubts. It does not require much effort to be curious. Being curious can also help other individuals doubt their doubts.

What would it look like to call your doubts into question? Why should we be willing to question our doubts as often as we do our beliefs?

We need to question our doubts more to test them further. We live in a world a lot like first-century Rome, a world growing in darkness and without hope. We must determine better reasons for holding on to the Christian faith, our only true hope! Jude encourages us to focus on strengthening the faith of our friends when they experience doubt:

Have mercy on those who waver; save others by snatching them from the fire; have mercy on others but with fear, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. Now to him who can protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of his glory, without blemish and with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen. —Jude 22–25

What are you facing right now that may be causing you to doubt? Which of these doubts do you need to question and confront with the counsel of wise friends?