By Mike Gough
24 “If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly. 25 Jesus answered, ‘I did tell you, but you do not believe.’”
How many times does Jesus to tell the Jews that He is the Messiah? How many miracles does He need to perform for them to believe? He had performed quite a few miracles by this time. Jesus had just healed the man born blind. He had taught them about many wonderful parables. He had just explained to them one of the most beautiful word pictures of all time: the picture of the Good Shepherd and his sheep. After this beautiful picture, they said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?” (v. 19) It is hard to imagine they thought He was raving mad after telling them how much he loved and cared for them. The thought of a Good Shepherd would surely find a place in their heart. Why did they need more?
Of course that causes us to ask, “Why do we need more?” Even today, after all that the Bible says and after the Crucifixion and Resurrection, we still often want more. We want God to prove Himself one more time. Please do this one more thing for me and then I’ll believe. It never seems to be quite enough. It is wonderful when we can come to the place that we totally believe. The disciples never totally believed until Pentecost. That was the experience that led them to totally surrender to Jesus and be “all in.” We too need the Holy Spirit to totally fill us so that we totally accept the words of Jesus and believe them.
There may be some difficult times that arise that cause us to ask questions. God understands these times and leads us through them. The best times are when we can accept Jesus at his word and believe. We need the Holy Spirit to fill us and empower us to follow our Good Shepherd.
Our Father, thank you for Jesus who is our Good Shepherd. May You empower with your Spirit that we may be faithful followers.
22 Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. There he stayed, 41 and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.” 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.