He knew Him before he was born.
For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. [Luke 1:44 KJV]
He recognized Him at baptism
And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. [John 1:34 KJV]
He pointed Him out to crowds of people.
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. [John 1:29 KJV]
Yet, he doubted.
Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? [Matthew 11:2-3 KJV]
So, why beat ourselves up when we have a doubt? We are in good company. John had doubts. Thomas had doubts. Their doubts were cleared.
A member of our church heard Pastor’s sermon on John in 2004 and wrote a song, “Go Tell John.” He sang it Sunday night, his words of Christ’s answer to John’s doubts.
Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. [Matthew 11:4-6 KJV]
Did you catch the key work in Christ’s first sentence? Again. Not for the first time, but “Again.” John had heard and seen, as had his disciples, the blind receiving sight, the lame walking, lepers cleansed, deaf hearing, even the dead raised. And the gospel preached.
Still, he doubted. He needed to be told again all of those things that proved Jesus was truly the Christ, the Lamb of God.
We do not see what John saw. We only read of the miracles, and many reject them. Many accept the non-spiritual message of the man Jesus, to do good unto others, but draw a line at believing what John the disciple wrote.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. [John 1:1-3 KJV]
Some today cannot follow the centurion’s declaration with their own.
And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. [Mark 15:39 KJV]
Some today would not be able to go tell John.