Poor John the Baptist. He’s been on an amazing ride for a few years, baptising crowds of people by the Jordan River and witnessing a religious revival. It gave him the confidence to confront King Herod about his adultery—and got him thrown into jail.
One of the highlights of John’s mission was seeing Jesus of Nazareth come into his own. It seemed that Jesus may be the one they had come to hope for, the deliverer, the Messiah, the coming one. But now he was in jail.
There, he has time. Lots of time. Time to think, to reflect, to ponder. Time to wonder if he is on the right track or not.
It must be hard to stay confident when you’re imprisoned, your future uncertain, and there’s nothing much happening on the outside.
John wants to hear that things are happening on the outside. He has begun to doubt what he had proclaimed, which was:
the kingdom of heaven has come near.