Monday, October 6, 2014

John the Baptist, Was he spiritually depressed?

God does not promise His people that they will be free from sickness, problems, poverty and more. People who buy into the health, wealth and prosperity gospel tend to believe that God will deliver everyone from all kinds of problems and sickness if only they have enough faith in Him. There are examples throughout Scripture and in church history of people who have had sickness and weakness of mind. One example is that of John the Baptist (Matthew 11:1-6). The fiery preacher, who in his near past had great multitudes hanging on his every word, now lay imprisoned in a dark dungeon with its stale air and rodent's feces. Why was this mighty and prophetic voice silenced?  It was because he had preached the judgment of God to Herod and his wife Herodias. Why did he do so? It was because of their incestuous and adulterous relationship.

 John was in a dark dungeon; he no doubt longed for the fellowship of his disciples and even of Christ. Instead, because of his identification with our Lord Jesus he was participating in His sufferings. John had not seen many of Christ’s greatest miracles. However, he had clearly testified that Jesus was the Son of God (John1:24).

Now he was haunted with doubts about whether or not Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah. That is why Matthew records for us how John sent his messengers to ask Jesus about His claims to be Messiah. They said to Him, "Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else"(John 11:3, NASB)?  Jesus answered John’s disciples, "Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind received 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; and blessed is he who does not take offense at Me" (Matthew 11:4-6 NASB). The same John who had said, “Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29 NASB) was now disappointed, lonely and out of the loop. He would die alone by the sword of the executioner (Matthew 14:8 NASB). But Heaven gave him a glad welcome. Bloem, Robyn and Steve CAMI Leader Guide,support group for Christians with mental illness, (copy right 2010) self published.

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