Matthew 11:2-3, “Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 3. And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?”
Many people see these two verses as John’s uncertainty about Jesus (that includes Christians unfortunately).But that’s nonsense! Because Verse 3 itself refutes that when it says, “…or do WE look for another?”
“We” here excludes John, it refers to his disciples who went and asked Jesus. (I’ll explain further later)
If I don’t need to go in details to explain everything, all I have to quote is, John 10:41 (NET) that says, “Many came to him and began to say, “John performed no miraculous sign, but everything John (the Baptist) said about this man (Jesus) was true!”
Question: How could everything John said about Jesus was true if he (John) was doubtful about Him?
Nevertheless, let’s see everything about John and see whether he was unsure about Jesus or not:
6. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light that all men through him might believe.
8. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. – John 1:6-8
These verses tell us that John was:
1 – Sent by God.
2 – To bear witness of the Light (Jesus – John 8:12)
Based on these two criteria about John, how can anyone say that he wasn’t sure about Jesus?
He was sent by God to bear witness of Jesus.
29. “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
30. This is he of whom I said, after me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.” – John 1:29-30
How much clearer does anyone wants John to be? He called Jesus “the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world” and went on to say, “this is he”…
Did God actually give John a sign about Jesus?Definitely YES!
32. “And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
33. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.” – John 1:32-33
Verse 34 says, “And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God”
John is saying, he didn’t know Jesus, but God who sent him told him how to recognise Him (Jesus). And John not only SAW those signs (If some people want to refer this as spiritual) but witnessed it. So how can someone still say, John was unsure when he sent his disciples to ask Jesus?
What you need to realise is that, John taught his disciples about the coming Christ way long before Jesus started His ministry. This is why when two of his disciples saw Jesus again, they left John and followed Jesus:
35. Again the next day after John stood and two of his disciples;
36. And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
37. And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.” – John 1:35-37
One of those disciples is Andrew, the brother of Peter (John 1:40). Listen to how Andrew described Jesus to Peter later on, “He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, we have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.” – John 1:41
How did Andrew know that Jesus is the Messiah if John hasn’t told them? Remember, Andrew was John’s disciple.
What happened when John sent the other two disciples is that, those disciples were the ones that were still in doubt about Jesus otherwise they would have left John too.
How do I know? Because John regarded Jesus very highly and didn’t mind if Jesus attracted more people than he, the proof of that is John 3:30, “He (Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease.”
When they asked Jesus about whether He was the One or should they wait for another, it is very important to notice what Jesus told them.It says, “4. Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: 5. The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” – Matthew 11:4-5
Why did Jesus specifically mention about those miracles?
That’s because those are the signs Moses talked about Him (Jesus) as the Prophet to come like him (Moses) in Deuteronomy 18:18. Deuteronomy 34:10-11 tell us the criteria of this Prophet, that He sees God face to face and that He will perform miracles like Moses.
For the record, the Prophet and the Messiah is One Person, though the Jews thought they were two different persons. They asked among themselves if the Messiah, when He comes, will do more miracles than Jesus has done without realising that Jesus Himself is the Messiah. They too knew that the Messiah will perform miracles.
So John knew and 100% certain about Jesus but to confirm to his disciples what he has taught them that Jesus was the One, he let them go see and hear for themselves what Jesus did and had to say. It wasn’t for John’s sake but for his disciples’. As a prophet, he knew his execution day drew near; he had to confirm to his disciples that Jesus is the One and that they should not doubt about Him. That’s the purpose of sending them to Jesus, not because he was uncertain about Jesus. It was for their benefit to be certain about Jesus.
Again, John 10:41 is the ultimate verse that proves John’s certainty of Jesus if you still have difficulties to comprehend the clarity of the other verses I mentioned above:
John 10:41 (KJV), “And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John (The Baptist) spake of this man (Jesus) were true.”
Receive your salvation today if you haven’t done that yet and accept the Lordship of Jesus Christ over your life. Jesus died for your sins.