Do we reject God because of our own desires? Is it ok to believe in Jesus but doubt our own faith? Is Jesus really God?
25 So some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is this not the man whom they are seeking to kill? 26 Look, He is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to Him. The rulers do not really know that this is the Christ, do they? 27 However, we know where this man is from; but whenever the Christ may come, no one knows where He is from.” 28 Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, “You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. 29 I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me.”
How often do we reject things because they are not what we want them to be? How often do we reject God or His will for our lives because it does not match up to what we want? The desire of the Jews at the time was for a Messiah to mystically appear out of thin air and take the reign of the king in charge to save them from oppression. Jesus, although He did appear this way (if you think about it) did not become the Savior they wanted.
Have you ever sought out help from someone and then criticized them by how they helped you? Maybe they didn’t clean the house or mow the lawn the way you would prefer it. Maybe they didn’t quite discipline your kids the way you would have liked. Maybe they didn’t give you the advice you wanted to hear, even though it is what you needed to hear. This portion of the story highlights this exact attitude towards Jesus.
Too often we try to muscle God to conform to our way of doing things. I call this putting God in a box. We try to create rules o criteria for Him to reside in our lives and when He acts outside of that (because He doesn’t fit in a man-made box) then we get angry at Him. Here I can’t tell if the crowd is trying to mock Him or discredit Him. Maybe they are one in the same in this instance.
I find verse 28 interesting in how it describes Jesus’ response teaching and saying. He wasn’t just talking to defend Himself, rather He was speaking to teach others. Verse 26 exposes a reflection of our doubting minds. “Is this really the Christ? He isn’t at all what we thought He would be. He goes against all common thought.” Actually, I thought that’s exactly what the Christ was supposed to do (and He did do it, by the way). In relating this to the beginning dialogue we discussed in Hypocrisy of the Church, what happens when we are presented with something contrary to what we thought was going to happen? Do we reject it because it is different than what we think or believe or do we admit the fact that yes, being human, we could very well be wrong in our own thought process? Anybody who says they do not doubt is indeed a liar.
I believe that it is in the moment of doubt of our faith that we have an opportunity to strengthen it. It causes us to explore the possibility that what we believe could be “wrong” and we discover a new facet of life that we would have otherwise ignored. In relying on our faith and belief being from God, if we are not constantly testing our faith and ensuring that our relationship with God is genuine, then how do we know that what we believe in is the truth?
We want to believe that there is hope, but when it comes, we tell it to go away because it isn’t what we asked for.
Here is a song I found that makes me think of the things that the people of that day and the people of today cry out for. What will we do when the relief arrives?