I call it the “John the Baptist Syndrome”
The account behind it is found in Luke 7:18-23. John, anointed by the Holy Spirit, was God’s chosen voice, to proclaim the need of repentance and “prepare the way of the Lord.” He was sent to get things ready for the coming of Jesus. Multitudes flocked to hear him in the wilderness. One day, Jesus appeared… And John prophetically proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world!” Jesus asked to be baptized by John. When John honored His wish, a powerful, authenticating miracle occurred! The heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove appeared… Then a deep, rich, voice sounded from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased!”
But then circumstances changed… Persecution! Prison! And John slipped into the sidelines and the ministry of Jesus took center stage. Doubts surfaced… Questions arose… You ask, “Are You the One who is to come or should we look for another?” I call it “The John the Baptist Syndrome!”
Listen, you may have had powerful experiences with the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. From personal experience you know who Jesus is. You’ve given forceful testimony to what you’ve seen, experienced, and know to be true… But circumstances have changed. You pray and pray there seems to be no answer – the heavens seem brass. Trials and suffering have come and there seems to be no relief. Where is God when you really need Him? Doubts arise – even bitterness raises it ugly head… Is God real, after all!
You need to know some of the greatest “saints” and followers of Jesus throughout human history have experienced doubts and questioning like this… But they persisted in faith through the questions and doubts and one day heard the sweet voice of the Holy Spirit echoing the voice of their Savior… “The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them! Blessed is the one who is not offended by Me.”
Here’s my prayer: If you’re experiencing “the John the Baptist Syndrome” may you sustain your faith through your doubts! Ask your questions… He’s not offended by them. And may you hear the sweet voice of the Spirit echoing the words of Jesus in your ears… “Blessed is the one who is not offended by Me.”