22 January 2023
20 January 2023
Is there any more pitiable figure in human history than John the Baptist?
His life’s labor was to prepare the way for the Lord. And by all the gospel accounts, he did it admirably. And yet. . .
. . .He ended up sentenced to death, and plagued by doubt. That is. . .
. . .If one believes the account in the gospel of Luke. In fact, if Luke is accurate, one could well ask, did the Baptist die, as American self-proclaimed Christians like to term it, *unsaved?*
Luke would have us believe the Baptist, plagued by doubt, sends 2 of his disciples to ask Jesus if He is the One. This is exceedingly odd, because. . .
Luke’s infancy narrative tells us Jesus and the Baptist had maternal figures who were related, and that both their births were miraculous, and that the maternal figures in their lives knew before their births of their exact relationship to each other, that of messenger in service of Savior.
Shouldn’t the Baptist have grown up with absolute certainty about his *Cousin?* Mary and Elizabeth, the maternal figures of Jesus and the Baptist, were relatives, and met before the births and discussed these matters, and Luke states the Baptist knew *in the womb* that Jesus was the One. And yet. . .
. . .Luke would have us believe, at the end of his life the Baptist doubted, sent out disciples to question Jesus, which seemingly irked the Lord, for He replied “blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me.”
Jesus later added that he who is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than the Baptist. It would not be unreasonable to infer then that the Baptist is outside the Kingdom of God. At any rate. . .
. . .for this reason we say no one is more pitiable than the Baptist. . .he devoted his life's labor to preparing the way for Christ, and yet ended his life on death row, unsure if he had prepared the way for the right One. . .IF Luke’s account is true.
On the other hand. . .
. . .the gospel of John records no such doubt on the part of the Baptist. In fact, in John’s gospel, unlike Luke’s, the Baptist has no idea who Jesus is until he sees the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus, a confirming sign given to the Baptist by God, at which time the Baptist proclaims with absolute certainty Jesus is the Lamb of God. He never wavers or doubts, and consoles his own disciples who see the ministry of Jesus grow, and his ministry shrink, by stating He must increase, I must decrease. Not a shred of doubt is ever hinted at in the gospel of John. So. . .
. . .for the sake of the Baptist, let us hope John's account is the more accurate.