Psalm 118 might have been one of the scripture references John the Baptist had in mind in regards to the tasks of the coming of the Messiah and the setting of His kingdom. Verses that suggested that in all the elements of destroying nations, God would protect Him – I would imagine that this is how John prayed for – hoped for – and it was not happening. Since the opposite was happening, John’s hopes were being crushed – his faith was weak – doubt took over. Was He Jesus the One who comes in the name of the Lord? John the Baptist, the greatest prophet since the era of the Old Testament, the one called to prepare the way of the Lord – began to doubt – doubt the very words of Jesus.
One thing that scripture never does – it never hides the saints as ideally faultless – there is no concern to conceal any sign of imperfection or weakness. In this case, nothing is so naturally laid out than John the Baptist. To whom received a partial revelation of Jesus as the Son of God – there should have been more calm instead of the deep anguish at the noiseless advance of the Kingdom. But John was not alone – Elijah struggled in his faith, Job struggled in his trials and Jeremiah did the same when he was in prison. As John drowned in his brief tragic career, he might have hoped to alleviate, by his question, the anguish that he felt. Maybe his question was more like – If Jesus is the Messiah, why am I, His Forerunner, suffering and worse still, by the hand of an evil tyrant? Yes, John was just one of the many saints whose careers God, is His mysterious manner, has allowed to suffer and others to end in disaster to show us all how small we are in importance and how little we are to attach to what people may think of us, or for that matter, the rewards this earth has to offer such individuals.
And John, calling to him two of his disciples, sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And when the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?'” In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many that were blind he bestowed sight. And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is he who takes no offense at me.” – Luke 7:19-23