“Faith that Overcomes Question”
Matthew 11:1-15

“And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” - Matthew 11:2-3

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” [Heb 11:1] This is the Biblical description of faith. But notice the question embedded. It is inherent in “things hoped for,” and “things not seen.” 

Our hope is seeing the Lord face-to-face [ref. Ps 27:8], a God Who is Spirit and cannot be seen. Questions, therefore, are undeniable on this side of heaven. But when faith turns to sight, all questions will be answered [and fully understand], but not until then. The key, until then, is knowing the truth of God’s word, and trusting Him in that word, even if we do not understand everything now. 

At the onset of our passage this morning, we see this dynamic playing out in John the Baptist. The last time we saw John, he was full of zeal and without question. “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?” [Luke 3:7] He said this to the crowds who were filled with religious leaders from Jerusalem. He had no fear!

“I baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” [Luke 3:16] He had the truth!

So, what happened?

Firstly, notice that John is now in prison awaiting death. There is nothing like persecution and fear that will get you to question your faith. But John’s question was not from fear; it was from a misunderstanding of God’s word. Notice the question, “Are You [Jesus] the Coming One, or do we look for another?”

You see, John was expecting Messiah to set up Israel’s physical rule, and he saw Christ as being the one to fulfill that work. Yet, he was in a dungeon awaiting execution. John, along with all Israel, did not understand that there would be Two Comings of Messiah. John’s faith was misdirected by what he did not know [i.e., what he misunderstood], and thus his question, “Are You the Coming One?”

This has much application today, and throughout history. Many throughout the ages have had a faith; but unfortunately, a misguided one. It was faith not in truth, at least not in the whole truth. But faith not in the whole truth is faith in a lie, which is misguided faith.

That is why it is important that we read the Bible, all the way through, and not just the parts we like. Because it is the fullness of Scripture that gives us the fullness of truth to put our hope and faith in that will overcome question, even amid persecution.