Faith Is The Key


“‘I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish — the very works that I am doing — testify that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has Himself testified concerning me. You have never heard His voice nor seen His form, nor does His word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one He sent. You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.'” John 5:36-40 (NIV).

Jesus and the religious leaders stood on opposite sides of an impenetrable wall. The heart of Jesus yearned for them to see the light and recognize that He was speaking the truth when He declared that the works He did and the witness of the Father pointed to only one thing — that He was the Son of God. Their desperate efforts to protect their power and influence over the people and their prejudice against Him because they hated His love for all people, blinded their eyes to His identity.

Again and again they demanded, ‘Who are you?’ but then rejected the evidence before their eyes because they stubbornly refused to believe His word. In the end it was not about their inability to understand. It was about their refusal to believe because they had another agenda. Had God or an angel personally come to explain the truth to them, they would still have refused to believe.

These men were professional students of the Word. They had memorised and studied the entire Old Testament from childhood and could flawlessly recite any part of it at will. It was in their heads but not in their hearts because their understanding and interpretation of the Word was fixed by their “yoke”, their way of interpreting and applying the Word. They followed the yoke of their rabbis, Shammai and Hillel, and the ancient rabbis who went before them, the men who determined how the Scriptures were to be understood.

Although the common people recognized the overriding authority of Jesus, they did not, and despised them for following and listening to Him. Not even the testimony of the highly revered prophet, John, could convince them that Jesus was the Messiah. They were in bed with the Romans and enjoyed their protection as long as they kept the people under their thumbs. They did not want anyone to rock their boat, especially this “softie” who had the common people eating out of His hand.

Their study of the Scriptures was purely academic, to reinforce their power over the people, not because they were looking for the truth about the Messiah. It was there before their eyes and available to anyone who had the will to believe, but for these men, the truth was safely hidden until they unlocked it with the key of faith.

It was out of these altercations with the religious leaders that some of the richest revelation of Jesus and His relationship with the Father came. His opponents might not have chosen to believe His word, but for those who do, we have the assurance and the witness that Jesus was no fake but truly the Son of God for, as Nicodemus testified, no one can do these things unless God is with him.

How does Jesus’ testimony sit with us? It actually has more to do with choice than with fact. Like the Pharisees we can choose to reject His word, or we can choose to believe and then have the witness in our spirits that what He said and what He promised is true. The world says, “Seeing is believing,” but that is the way of the skeptic. The Bible says, “Believing is seeing,” and that is the way of Father.

Faith must take the first step, based on the evidence, and the confirmation will follow. Faith puts into action what we know to be true, and God responds by fulfilling His word. We all fall into one of two categories, those who choose to believe or those who choose not to believe and the outcome depends on our choice.

Categories: Bible Study Tags: , , ,

Luella Campbell

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