Overlooking the Obvious
When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, 'Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?' Jesus replied, 'Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.' Matthew 11:2-6 NIV
Why did John have such doubts about Jesus at this point? Wasn't he sent by God to prepare the way? Didn't he witness the Spirit coming upon Jesus? So what happened in prison to trigger John's question of doubt? According to the story, it's because he heard what Christ was doing. Make sense? Not unless you recognize the tension between the identities of John and Jesus - then it should become obvious why doubt was the ONLY logical conclusion.
The tension? John was the EPITOME of righteousness by the Law, Jesus was the END of it. John separated himself from the world, Jesus welcomed it. John was judged because of principles, Jesus was judged for the lack of them. John was unlike the Pharisees in that he was the righteous lawman because he testified of the righteousness of God in Christ APART from the law. If this sounds confusing just imagine what must have been happening inside John.
Picture being thrown into a filthy cell for RIGHTFULLY telling the king he violated the law, then imagine hearing news of the amazing deeds done by the man you RIGHTFULLY promoted who seemed to disregard the principles by which you lived. Wouldn't you question the seeming contradiction of rightness between the law and this man who seemed to violate the law while doing his deeds? John may have testified to righteousness without law by declaring Jesus, but that doesn't mean he understood it. In this, he was no different than Jesus' own disciples who didn't understand him till they received the Spirit.
How did Jesus respond? He sent John's men back to him with the same news he already heard, while adding one thing: "Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of ME." Huh? Simply stated, Jesus told John not to let the UNEXPECTED cause him to trip over the fulfillment of the EXPECTED. In other words, don't overlook the obvious reality of the miraculous because of a faulty expectation of CHRIST himself. His deeds fulfilled all the written expectations, but the expected one could not be understood simply by the writings!
This is not just about John's perceptions, but also about yours and mine, because it explains the reason why we usually miss the miraculous that happens right in front of us. Our confusion isn't caused by a Bible verse or a doctrinal disagreement, no, we overlook the obvious because of the UNEXPECTED life of Christ.