Question & Answer – Why did Jesus not visit John the Baptist in prison?

It is very important to remember that whatever happens or does not happen the way we think it should, that all will work out for good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). John was called according to His purpose.

“Jesus did not interpose to deliver His servant. He knew that John would bear the test. Gladly would the Saviour have come to John, to brighten the dungeon gloom with His own presence. But He was not to place Himself in the hands of enemies and imperil His own mission.

  • Gladly would He have delivered His faithful servant.
  • But for the sake of thousands who in after years must pass from prison to death, John was to drink the cup of martyrdom.
  • As the followers of Jesus should languish in lonely cells, or perish by the sword, the rack, or the fagot, apparently forsaken by God and man, what a stay to their hearts would be the thought that John the Baptist, to whose faithfulness Christ Himself had borne witness, had passed through a similar experience!” The Desire of Ages, 224.

One very important point to remember is that Satan failed:

“Satan was permitted to cut short the earthly life of God’s messenger; but that life which ‘is hid with Christ in God’ (Colossians 3:3), the destroyer could not reach. He exulted that he had brought sorrow upon Christ, but he had failed of conquering John.” Ibid.

Remember the promise:

“Though no miraculous deliverance was granted John, he was not forsaken. He had always the companionship of heavenly angels, who opened to him the prophecies concerning Christ, and the precious promises of Scripture. These were his stay, as they were to be the stay of God’s people through the coming ages. To John the Baptist, as to those that came after him, was given the assurance, ‘Lo, I am with you all the days, even unto the end’ (Matthew 28:20 RV, margin).” Ibid.

John the Baptist in prison would not have chosen to be led any other way:

“God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning, and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as co-workers with Him. Not Enoch, who was translated to heaven, not Elijah, who ascended in a chariot of fire, was greater or more honored than John the Baptist, who perished alone in the dungeon. ‘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). And of all the gifts that Heaven can bestow upon men, fellowship with Christ in His sufferings is the most weighty trust and the highest honor.” Ibid., 224, 225.