Key Text: John 2:23-25
This passage captures a pivotal moment in the ministry of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, where we witness the power of belief and the profound knowledge that Jesus possesses concerning the human heart. Here we witness an incredible demonstration of the power of Jesus’ ministry. As He performed signs and miracles during the Passover festival in Jerusalem, many people believed in His name.
They recognised the authority and authenticity of Jesus’ divine works and placed their faith in Him. This is a crucial aspect of our faith journey believing in Jesus, the Son of God and surrendering our lives to Him. It is however, essential to note some cautionary words presented here.
Jesus, being all-knowing and discerning, did not fully entrust Himself to those who believed in Him. This may seem strange at first but it actually reveals a stark fundamental truth:
Belief alone does not guarantee an intimate and life transforming relationship with Jesus. Mere intellectual assent to His works and teachings is not enough.
James 2:19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
James 14 begins a discussion of faith without works and makes a vivid point, that even the demons believe and tremble. – What does this mean?
The ‘faith’ of demons is useless, even though they tremble at what they know to be true. Likewise, people who say they ‘believe’ in God while showing no evidence of a transformed life through faith, have a level of ‘belief’ similar to that of demons.
In pointing out that even demons believe certain things about God, James implies that someone who has faith but does not evidence it by their works, is in a practical sense of no more use than those demons.
Our faith doesn’t deliver others from need, the outworking of Holy Spirit does. James 2:16. Our faith doesn’t extend mercy to someone, the outworking of Holy Spirit does James 2:13.
John 7:37-39 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Jesus desires an authentic, heart-to-heart connection with each one of us.
Jesus knows the depths of the human heart, the intricacies of our thoughts and the intentions behind our actions. He sees beyond the external profession of faith and discerns the true state of each of our hearts. He understood that many who believed in Him lacked a genuine commitment and understanding of who He truly was.
Their belief was limited to the miracles and signs but they did not fully comprehend the depth of His love, mercy, grace and sacrifice.
As disciples of Jesus, we must take His gospel message to heart. We are called to move beyond a surface-level faith and experience a personal encounter with the living Christ.
He wants us to move beyond simply being a devotee to a disciple. Our relationship with Jesus should be characterised by a genuine understanding of His nature and a heartfelt commitment to follow Him.
Our faith should not rely solely on the spectacular manifestations of God’s power but should be anchored in a deep and abiding relationship with Him because of His character and who He is.
Let us strive to know Jesus intimately, allowing Holy Spirit to transform us from within.
May we seek Him with all our hearts, surrendering our desires, ambitions, and shortcomings at His feet. By doing so, we invite His presence, Holy Spirit to dwell within us, empowering us to live according to His will and to be a faithful witness of His love and truth in the world.
Let us be reminded today that true belief goes beyond a mere acknowledgment of Jesus’ miracles. It encompasses a sincere and dedicated devotion to Him, an unwavering commitment to live in accordance with His Word and a profound love that compels us to share the good news of salvation with others.