People asked Jesus in John 6, “What sign (distinguishing thing) will you do, that we may see and believe you? What (thing or action) will you do (as proof)?” We still do today. Many still nurse thoughts that only by Jesus performing a spectacular and defining miracle for them can they believe that Jesus is who he says he is. And they are not wrong.
But belief in someone does not necessarily mean that you are in a love relationship with that person. Here lies the crux of the matter.
What is God’s purpose in sending Jesus? Is it only to believe in Him? If so, all that is needed is for God to perform a spectacular and defining miracle to show that God has sent him. It must be more than that. For even the devils believe in him.
Jesus had made a statement prior to the people asking. He said; This is the work (purpose) of God, that you believe into him whom He has sent.
There is a difference when we say that we are in a relationship with someone or we are into a relationship with someone. ‘In’ speaks of a state of where you are at, expressing the situation of being enclosed or surrounded by something. ‘Into’ is all about movement and progression deeper within the state of where you are.
In common speech, it’s the difference between “I’m with someone” and “I’m into someone.”
You are in a circle of relationships, even if you are on the outer fringes of the relationships. Where you are, there is room and space to move deeper into the center of the circle.
Miracles are meant to place you within the new circle of an experiential love relationship with Him. To grow and mature in this new relationship you need more than that.
The people needed to see and understand this.
So, how did Jesus respond?
There are still many moments in my life when I feel alone.
Some of these moments are when ‘nerve attacks’ arising from my spinal injury hit me intensely and last for days. They feel like random electric current spasming from my spine to my toes. Many times I just lie in bed and try to sleep it off. When it becomes unbearable, I must confess I wish my life would end.
Many tell me that by Jesus’ stripes, I should be healed. They pray for me in earnest, yet nothing happens. Some share how God has told them specifically I would be healed. They too lay hands on me for healing but, once again, nothing happens. Others come to me saying I have not found healing because I have not received the grace to believe that God will do what he has said in the Scriptures. Perhaps I haven’t been waiting enough for this grace, they feel. But I have, and am still waiting for complete and total healing for over thirty years.
I have been told that God wishes us to prosper at all times and that He has given us the grace to do just that in Christ Jesus.Yet, in my years as a lawyer, I have gone through three years when my practice suffered heavy losses. I have also lost much in investments and ventures that I have entered into to generate income to plough back into worthwhile ventures for God but many ended in substantial financial losses.
Throughout these years, I have been encouraged by well-meaning souls to hold on to verses of Scripture that emphasize God’s overflowing grace and favour, especially: “My grace is sufficient for you. My strength is made perfect in weakness”, “I have come to give you life; life in all abundance”, “Of his fullness we all receive and grace upon grace.”
These souls spur me to hang on for the day God fulfills his word. For me, and for many others facing hardship or pain, that day still hasn’t come. And it gets a little bit harder to believe that it was God’s word that was spoken.
Where is God and His grace in all of this? I wonder. What is He working out in my life?
Then I remember.