I had the neatest experience yesterday. I watched the Time Out For Women DVD. I do love the stories and the great faith and courage that people have in sharing their stories. If I could get paid to listen to peoples stories, I would have a happy life.
Anyways, Michael McLean shares his faith journey of feeling like the Lord is quite silent in his life for nine years…it’s beautiful and told by a performer. He referenced the story of John the Baptist. How he related the story of John the Baptist and what it reads in Luke 7:19-23. Was an interpretation of the story that I never heard before.
It was amazing but in all my studies I had never heard it interpreted like that before. As I do when I hear conference talks I began searching for my own witness.
The story is that as John the baptist was in prison, he sent two messengers to go ask Jesus is “Art thou he who should come? or look we for another?” Basically they said, ” Are you really the Christ?”
Instead of giving them an answer he shows them miracles… then tells them to go back to John and report the miracles. They do and we really don’t hear the end of the story. (At least I haven’t found any more…)
But the way Micheal McLean had interpreted this story he thought John was having the faith crisis… that John wanted to know the answers to those questions. I knew Micheal was sincere in his interpretation and at this point of life this is how the story must have struck him or been presented to him. I too, have read scriptures and felt like they might be interpreted a particular way. But I have since learned to keep an open heart. I say to myself, I will believe this unless I am proven false in this idea. How I prove my idea false is I hear modern revelation about it. Or when I pray and study the holy ghost can whisper that idea is not quite right. Often when I ask a question, the Lord can let me know the answer through others faith and study… I still always take it back to the Source and try and get confirmation from God. Often the answers don’t come immediately some of them take years… but as I continue in faith they do come.
If you, like me purchased the Time Out for woman DVD and heard Micheal McLean share his beautiful faith journey and wondered about John the Baptist and his faith struggle… here is the answer I found in the Institute teacher manual for the New Testament.
Luke 7:18–20. Did John the Baptist doubt that Jesus was the Messiah?
Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave a clear answer to this question:
“Any inference that the Baptist was uncertain or doubtful in his own mind, as to the identity and mission of the Master, is totally unwarranted. In reality, the imprisoned Elias and forerunner of our Lord was using this means to persuade his disciples to forsake him and follow Jesus.
“John knew who Jesus was; the Baptist was not wavering as a reed in the wind. … This act of sending his disciples to Jesus was in effect a final great testimony on John’s part that Jesus was the Lamb of God, for the Baptist knew that his disciples, seeing the Master personally and hearing his teachings, could not help but follow the greater light” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary,3 vols. [1965–73], 1:261–62).
John the Baptist understood an important truth that President James E. Faust of the First Presidency reiterated:
“Each of us has to receive our own witness concerning Jesus as the Christ. We cannot get it secondhand from someone else” (“A Testimony of Christ,” Ensign or Liahona, Mar. 2005, 3).