Ellen G. White Writings

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Conflict and Courage, Page 277

In Prison for Christ's Sake, September 28

Matthew 11:1-6; Matthew 14:3

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. Philippians 1:29.

John the Baptist had been first in heralding Christ's kingdom, and he was also first in suffering.... He was now shut in by the walls of a dungeon cell.... As week after week passed, bringing no change, despondency and doubt crept over him. His disciples did not forsake him.... But they questioned why, if this new teacher was the Messiah, He did nothing to effect John's release....

Like the Saviour's disciples, John the Baptist did not understand the nature of Christ's kingdom. He expected Jesus to take the throne of David; and as time passed, and the Saviour made no claim to kingly authority, John became perplexed and troubled.... There were hours when the whisperings of demons tortured his spirit, and the shadow of a terrible fear crept over him. Could it be that the long-hoped-for Deliverer had not yet appeared? ...

But the Baptist did not surrender his faith in Christ.... He determined to send a message of inquiry to Jesus. This he entrusted to two of his disciples.... The disciples came to Jesus with their message, “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” ... The Saviour did not at once answer the disciples’ question. As they stood wondering at His silence, the sick and afflicted were coming to Him to be healed.... While He healed their diseases, He taught the people....

Thus the day wore away, the disciples of John seeing and hearing all. At last Jesus called them to Him, and bade them go and tell John what they had witnessed.... The evidence of His divinity was seen in its adaptation to the needs of suffering humanity....

The disciples bore the message, and it was enough.... The works of Christ not only declared Him to be the Messiah, but showed in what manner His kingdom was to be established.... Understanding more clearly now the nature of Christ's mission, he [John] yielded himself to God for life or for death, as should best serve the interests of the cause he loved.45The Desire of Ages, 214-218.

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