Crazy John: The Baptizer and Doubter

Jesus is not intimidated by our doubts. 

He welcomes our questions.

According to Jesus, the “greatest man born of woman” had doubts. (Luke 7:28).

John clicked his prenatal heels when he met his cousin through the womb (Luke 1:44) . He personally dropped Jesus in the Jordan. In that muddy water, he heard the thundering voice and he felt the descending spirit. He heard of the miraculous exploits of Christ’s public ministry, of the kingdom of heaven breaking into earth. This radical Nazarite, John, was so sure of his calling and election, he called out the sins of the psychotic royal Herod family with an uncommon boldness.

John The Baptist Cat

The request of a stripper put him on death row (Mark 6:19-23).

So at the end of life this forerunner of the Bridegroom, John the Baptist, found himself stuck in a dungeon of doubt.

Isolated in a hole in the ground, his assurance waned. Two years he languished in a dirty prison cell. He never envisioned his final ministry days playing out like this. This new King seemed to be taking His sweet time in setting the captives free.

So he sent his disciples to inquire his cousin: “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?'” (Luke 7:20)

or in effect: “Jesus, are You this Messiah dude I thought You were, or are You someone else altogether?”

Jesus didn’t chastise the inquirer or mock the question: “Are you kidding me? That wild haired hippie baptized me AND he’s the fulfillment of OT prophecies…He must be backslidden….”

Jesus is not intimidated by our doubts.

He welcomes our questions.

Jesus simply responds, “Go tell him what you’ve seen…” and then He confirms John’s honored position before man (Luke 7:28).

You may be despairing now. In a dingy prison cell of doubt. With nothing but unfulfilled promises and fledgling false starts nagging at your psyche. You may have more hard questions than concrete answers.

None of that threatens your position in Christ.

Just remember:

Jesus is not intimidated by our doubts.

He welcomes our questions.

He’s up to something greater than you can now imagine. There’s wander in that wait. There’s wonder in that wait.

But the wait will be worth it.

Bryan Daniels


Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

14 thoughts on “Crazy John: The Baptizer and Doubter”

  1. Yes, God is a big boy isn’t He. He can handle it. My gosh, look at David lamenting, Jeremiah essentially calling him a “liar”.

    He’s not like us, He can handle our raging doubts, and our bitching and moaning. Still He loves, no hesitation.

    And the way Paul describes doubting, manipulative Abraham? “He did not weaken in faith” – what? “fully convinced that God was able” – OMG!

    I guess He really does see our case different than we ourselves do.

    Appreciate the post my friend.

  2. I have meditated on John’s wavering in faith before. Subjected to the crushing pain of prison he succumbed to doubt.

    But I believe he died strong in faith after that message from Jesus… It exactly what he needed to hear.

    It is incredible to hear the stories of Christians who were imprisoned for their faith in the eastern communist bloc. Many went through the same doubts as John. I know some of these folks who have survived the communist prisons in Romania and the experience was one that ultimately increased their faith despite temporary doubts.

    These are some of the most amazing people I have ever met.

  3. I enjoyed your post. I believe strongly that believers should not be afraid of their doubts. Sometimes doubt leads to positive change in one’s understanding. After all, we are not born knowing all the truth; we have to develop. Doubt serves to confirm some things we believe and rto evise others.

  4. I am so comforted by knowing that Jesus does welcome our questions. I find that the more honest I am with God, the better our relationship is. I was always walking on eggshells with my earthly father. This is different. Better.

  5. Doubt in a follower of Christ may indicate a dwindling faith, but it also reveals how faith has not pummeled into the depths of despair, at least not yet (Mark 9:24). As demonstrated in the Psalms of lamentation (Psalm 6:3, Psalm 130:1-8), posing direct questions and bearing the innermost pain and grief to God acknowledges His very existence and sovereignty to deliver man in his time of weakness. In your words, I too am hoping that “the wait will be worth it.”אלהי-אלהי-למא-ש/

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