This morning for this Holy Week devotion, I spent some time meditating on the verses found in John 12: 37-50.
I am sharing my observations, but if you have time and feel led, look it up and read and ponder on your own.
As I read, I thought about how it is our tendency to think if Jesus would just work in some miraculous way then everyone in the situation would believe in Him. I know I have prayed for miracles and in my fervent prayers, I have apprised God of the way He could really work my prescribed answer to His advantage.
So it is a bit eye-opening to see that God knows humanity better than we know ourselves when it comes to evangelism through signs and wonders.
John 12: 37 informs us of the sad truth….
Even though He had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe Him.
Add to that verse 42 tells me that actually for many, they did believe him. That’s promising news. Right?
Not just the ordinary common folk, but some of the rulers of the people. The influential leaders. Maybe the politicians.
They saw what He did and heard what He said and got it and believed.
Except the next verse tells us that even though they DID come to believe, they kept it hidden from public display because they were afraid of the Pharisees. If they confessed their belief that Jesus was the Messiah, they would be ousted from the Temple and they didn’t want that.
Now before anyone reads this and translates “Pharisees” into the “Church”….please don’t.
While there has been and always will be a “pharisee spirit” plaguing the organized portions of Christianity and various individuals who profess to be followers of Christ….I believe the “Pharisees” of our day are any who would quench the Holy Spirit by enforcing any kind of man-made laws…be they religious, political, cultural or popular.
The “Pharisee spirit” is alive in any one or any group who have created their own set of rules for what is upright and moral and correct. So yes, it happens inside the Church, but is alive and well in all branches of every system of this world in my opinion.
The secular world as well as those in religious circles, who say it is our way or the highway.
So here we have a large group of people who believed by kept it from affecting their outward lives…because they preferred being well thought of by people over being approved by God.
But Jesus simply lived and taught and did by a completely opposite standard.
In 44-45 it says He cried out…got loud about it…said in such a way that His voice rang out over the whole crowd of non-believers and revealed believers and secret believers and He said:
The one who believes in Me believes not in ME, but in Him who sent Me. And the one who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.
In those two statements He declares two things.
One that He is God.
And also that He is obedient to God.
When we see Jesus, we see God.
But Jesus was obedient to go when sent by God.
The unity of the Trinity involves God in three persons…this is a core foundation of my belief in God.
And the three persons of the Trinity, while they are all God, have different roles and Jesus in His role, surrendered in obedience to God the Father.
Jesus’ ministry on earth speaks of the role of order and authority and submission in matters of faith. He came to be a light so we would never have to walk in darkness. He came to make the way open to the Father. He came to set us free from the death that we deserve. He came to reconcile us back to God.
Do you believe in Him?
Do you believe Him?
Do you see Him?
Perhaps today we can ponder a bit on how Jesus was both fully man and fully God and how He modeled obedience and surrender. These thoughts are not theology…they are just my musings as I read the Scripture.
Put yourself in the Word today and ponder it…mull it over…write it out and consider what God might be saying about Himself and about you as it works into your soul <3