Did not John already know it was Jesus, Son of God?

I was reading the gospel of Matthew and something caught my attention. In Matt 3:13-17 John ackowledges that Jesus is the chosen one by saying “But John stayed him, saying: I ought to be baptized by thee, and comedy thou to me?”

Then later in Matthew 11:2-3 John, while in prison, asks his disciple if Christ is really the chosen:”Now when John had heard in prison the works do Christ: sending two of his disciples he said to him:
3 Art thou he that art to come , or look we for another?” DR

I don’t get it. I thought John already recognized him when he baptized him. And know he’s not sure? I’m confused.

John was in prison and had only stories about the man he sent his disciples to go and see. He had no way of knowing if it was the same man that he had baptized. And since there were a few impostors at that time claiming to be the Messiah, John sent his disciples to ask him a direct question, knowing that the Messiah — including the person he baptized — would give an answer that only the Messiah would give. Because John knew he wouldn’t be alive much longer, he wanted to make sure that he wouldn’t be sending his disciples to follow a false Messiah. So he wanted to ensure this was the person that he had baptized.

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One possibility is that John was a Zealot, meaning that he was expecting a military Messiah- someone who would lead a campaign against the Romans like the Maccabees of Israel’s history. When Jesus didn’t take up arms against them, he began to doubt what he had learned at His baptism. So, he sent his disciples to ask Him of His identity, to which Jesus revealed to them what the Messiah really came to do (the blind see, the deaf hear, the dumb speak, etc.).

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It was because of his disciples who had doubts and influenced by the people and the scribes, pharisees,its not that he didn’t know Jesus, it was for the sake of his disciples to see and believe.

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The Gospel of Matthew, as the others, is more theological than historical. That is not to say they do not contain history. A better question might be , “What was Mattew’s intention of having John not only baptize Jesus with humility and a seeming recognition, but then also sending his disciples to ask the question?”

Rather than trying to enter the mind of John, try to enter the mind of the author of Matthwe’s Gospel.

I second Francis’ reply. It wasn’t for the Baptist’s benefit. It was for his disciples to see and believe.

You might ask, “why did Jesus send them back to St. John?” Well, in my opinion, because Jesus knew that all of St. John’s disciples needed to hear the good news. They were not reporting simply to St. John, but to an entire community of St. John’s followers who were probably getting anxious to see the anticipated worldly political freedom which they assumed the Messiah was bringing for the Jews.

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John knew…in Matt11:2-3, he was sending his own disciples so that they could come to believe Jesus was the Messiah for themselves.

So why couldn’t John just tell his two disciples that it was indeed Christ? Why did he have to send them off as a sort of “ go and see for yourself?” You would think being disciples of John the Baptist they would believe him if he confirmed it. Just wondering here.

Speaking for myself, my parents and grandparents told me the truth about Christ, but until the truth came to me through a more personal revelation, it didn’t have much impact.

While it may have been a case of the master knowing but sending his disciples to see for themselves, I don’t think it would be any slight against St. John if he did want reassurance as he neared death. As someone else said, Jesus did not fit the common idea of the Messiah among the (occupied and oppressed) Jewish people of the time, and John himself had been imprisoned and would soon be killed by the collaborator king sitting on the very throne that belonged to Jesus as David’s heir. If even Jesus, in His humanity, wanted to turn away from His mission near the end, I think we can forgive John for wanting to be sure. “Cousin, I was right, wasn’t I? You’re the one who was to come? My whole life’s mission was worth it, right? Right now I’ve gotta say I’m not seeing the signs of the Messianic Age dawning. Can you send my men back with just one?” And so Jesus points to His healings as the fulfillment of the prophecy that in the age to come the blind would see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, and so forth.

They were typical people that had to see for themselves.

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