I have three different questions on scripture.
The first is based on Matthew 11:18 "For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon." Just a couple of passages before this John was eating locusts and wild honey? My only explanation of this is that Jesus was talking about John’s fasting with his disciples. The second is why did John doubt Jesus being the Messiah, John 11:3, if he had heard God say that Jesus was his son John 4:17? And how do you respond to the interpretation that reincarnation is shown in the bible Matthew 17:11-13? Thanks!


When Jesus said that John came neither eating or drinking, he does not mean that he ate no food or water! He meant that John the Baptist lived an extremely frugal life which could be described as an ascetic one. He ate very simple food and drank no alcohol. This agrees with the other passage about him eating locusts and wild honey.
I do not know why John the Baptist doubted. Perhaps it was because he was in prison and under threat of death. The scripture does not say why he doubted, so we are out on a limb to speculate. All of us have doubts, but I will admit it is somewhat surprising that John had such big doubts, given that he baptized Jesus. Nevertheless, from John 11:3 it appears that he struggled with doubt about Jesus. Mary, the mother of Jesus, who had the prophecies and visits by God and other evidences also doubted Jesus. I believe we should be careful to judge these people and should simply accept the word of the witnesses. If they were making things up, the gospel writers certainly would not make one of the New Testament heroes appear to be so weak. Logically, then, I believe that the account is reliable.
About Matthew 17:11-13, if we only read this scripture out of context, we might see a possible support for reincarnation. However, we know that the Jews DEFINITELY did not believe in reincarnation. Besides, Luke 1:16 helps us to interpret Matthew 17:11-13. It tells us that John came "in the spirit and power of Elijah." John the Baptist was prefigured in his ministry by Elijah, as is prophesied by Malachi 4:5.

John Oakes

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