Wednesday, March 14, 2012
“While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, many began to believe in his name when they saw the signs he was doing. But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well.” John 2: 23-25
What is it about human nature that Jesus knew so well? The fact that we are fickle: that we can be mesmerized by something in one moment and then completely oblivious to it the next. People like to accuse politicians of “flip-flopping”—of switching their views from one side to the other, presumably to garner more votes on Election Day. We like to criticize people who say one thing but do another. And we are very intolerant of people who won’t take a side on any issue because they do not like conflict.
But aren’t we ALL like that from time to time, about one thing or another? Don’t we pick our battles and ignore some things? Don’t we get lazy and stop trying so hard? Don’t we sometimes switch allegiance from one political candidate to another the more we hear what they have to say?
And Jesus knew this. So He didn’t take too much stock in the crowds of Jerusalem who came to believe in His Name because of the signs they saw. He knows how short our attention span is and He knows how short our memories can be. Was it not many of these same people that would cheer for Him on Palm Sunday? And was it not many of these same people that violently called for His death just five days later. My how public opinion can ebb and flow and bob and weave from one side to the other.
And so we ask ourselves today: what sign can Jesus perform that would cause us to completely believe in Him without ANY doubts, without any fear, without anything held back. What ultimate sign could He show you that would cause you to abandon EVERYTHING and follow Him, even to the point of death without looking back and without any regrets? What sign could He show us to prove that He loves us and will never leave us and that we can confidently place all of our hope and trust in Him? I fear that if we are waiting for this sign before we give Him our lives, we will never give Him our lives.
For one, we need to stop asking and looking for a sign and start asking for the gift of FAITH: a faith that sustains us even when all of the “signs” seem to show nothing but destruction. A faith that carries us when there are no “signs” at all—when all of our prayers and cries are met with apparent silence, when our feelings tell us nothing is real, when we are surrounded by fears and doubts and enemies. And for another, what other sign can God offer us to prove His love for us but the sign of the cross? He’s already proven His love for us, His willingness to donate Himself completely and totally on the cross so that we can be saved and have eternal life. There is no need for another sign! If our faith is based on signs rather than the reality of God’s love for us, then our faith will be fickle and we will flip and flop as our feelings or circumstances change. Jesus knew this about our human nature. And we need to realize it about ourselves as well so that with His grace we can overcome it.
Dear Jesus, I do not ask for a sign, I only ask to understand Your love for me more and more deeply in my heart. By Your grace may I overcome the fickleness of my human nature and ascend to a place where my relationship with You is based on faith and not feelings. Amen.