ENCOUNTERS WITH JESUS

THE UNBELIEVING

 

The words and the miracles of Jesus left people divided and challenged.

His words confronted them with his claims to identity with God.

His miracles challenged them with evidence of divine power and authority.

But they did not want to believe what his words told them and what his miracles showed them. The radical possibility that Jesus was God in human flesh threatened them at the very core of their religious beliefs and at the heart of their authority structures.

In their fear and threat, hoping to escape from the undesirable conclusion that Jesus is God, they asked for a sign that would confirm his identity.

In a pointed rebuke of their unbelief and hardness of heart, Jesus said:

'This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. - The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.'

For those who do not want to believe, all the signs in the world count for nothing. For those who believe, the word of Christ is enough.

Of those who believe he says: 'Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it.'

What is this 'word of God' that is to be heard and obeyed? It is this: 'This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.'

As Jesus himself said: 'The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.'

Scriptures: Luke 11:14-32; 9:35; John 6:29.

Copyright Rosemary Bardsley 2004, 2009.