“John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to the Lord, saying, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?’” Luke 7:18-19
John the Baptist had a crisis of belief.
Faith always has an object, a “who.” Who is your faith in?
Arrested for speaking critically about Herod’s relationships, John sat in prison and had time to wonder. He wondered, “Is Jesus really the one?”
I would have wondered, “Are you the one who is going to rescue me?”
Jesus sent the two disciples back with this message, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good new preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” (Luke 7:22-23)
Not a technical or a theoretical answer. Yet for the ear trained by the Scripture there would be echoes of the prophets. (See Luke 4:16-21)
The Messiah had come. Jesus is The One.
Suffering can create intense self-awareness. Suffering can bend faith away from the One who loves us and for whom we were made. Jesus did not think less of John for this crisis of belief. In fact, Jesus went on to affirm John and to call him one of the greatest persons ever born. (Luke 7:28) Jesus called John to consider the Scripture and the evidence. Implicit in Jesus’ words is the call to remain full of faith even through the trials.