Every week I meet with a group of three girls and we share a time of fellowship and time in God’s word. We are working our way through the book of John and let me just tell you, it has been extremely convicting. When I first heard we were going through John, I’ll be honest in saying I was less than thrilled. I grew up in the church, so I thought I had heard everything I needed to hear about Jesus’ time on earth. I had obviously learned all that God could ever teach me from when He sent His Son to live among us.
From day one God has been proving me wrong and putting me in my place. Every week has been eye-opening and convicting as we’ve been following along Jesus’ journey on this earth. The great thing about God’s word is that you can never learn everything. His Word is living and active and consistently changing hearts. I’m so thankful for that!
This rang especially true this past week. We covered chapter 10 of John and one thing in particular hit me like a ton of bricks.
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me.”
Let me set the scene here. “The Jews” mentioned here have been following him around for quite a while now watching his every move. They’ve witnessed him perform miracle after miracle (and usually their response is anger and wanting to stone him.) At each of these occurrences, Jesus has been very patient with them while also not straying from the truth of His message. The Jews are awaiting the arrival of the prophesied Messiah and deny that Jesus could possibly be the one they have been waiting for.
Ok, so now read those verses again and picture it with me. Imagine Jesus being surrounded by these people who have witnessed his miracles, and they tell him to tell them plainly if he is the Christ. I think if I was Jesus, I would have probably thrown my hands up and wanted to give up. But, thankfully, Jesus isn’t like me. I imagine the tone of his response to be kind but sharp.
“I told you, and you do not believe.”
It’s almost like Jesus is looking at these people and asking, “What more do you want?” Here he has healed the sick, caused the blind to see, and fed thousands of people with hardly anything, and they still question him.
Now before you start thinking what idiots those Jews are like I did when I first read this, try to see how closely this correlates with how we act. I have been following Jesus since I was 6 years old. I have known and experienced His loving, gracious relationship for 13 years now, and I still act like these Jews so many times. I have seen His miracles and His hand on many occasions and felt Him in ways I never knew was possible, yet when I’m faced with something especially difficult, I tend to act the same way.
“If You are really God, You can fix this situation.”
“If You are always there, why can’t I feel You?”
“If You cared the way You promised you would, I wouldn’t have to deal with this.”
Ah, yes. I am guilty of this so often. I go to God begging and pleading about why my life is so difficult and why He’s so distant, when in reality, I am failing to trust everything He’s already shown me. In times where life is hard, God is still in control. In times when I’ve felt alone, He is still there. In times when I feel lost, He still cares deeply about me and my heart. It is such a natural tendency to question God, but in His patient tone, He responds that He is still Lord. Whether we like it or not, He is still good. Believe in Him.