by Dcn. Skip Hill
If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand* that the Father is in me and I am in the Father. Then they tried to arrest him again, but he escaped from their hands. He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing earlier, and he remained there. Many came to him, and they were saying, John performed no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.’ And many believed in him there. John 10:37-42
What were the Jews of Jesus’ day looking for in a Messiah? I would think that they would look for a person who lived a godly life, could do wonderful works, and who had no fault in Him. They were looking for someone who lived a consistent godly life; who was bold, sure of Himself, and who could speak to them of God! Why then did they try to arrest him when He demonstrated the very characteristics that they were looking for?
It appears as if they had faith in a Messiah who would be ideal, while simultaneously believing that anyone who ‘acted’ in ways that they anticipated the Messiah to behave would by ‘nature’ be a blasphemer! So…they had an image of the ideal in their minds, while never expecting that this ideal could become a reality.
What wrong did Jesus do that deserved the reactions that he got from the Jewish leaders? They did not challenge Him when He suggested “If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me.” Their reaction against Him came after He said, “But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand* that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
The Jews did not take exception with either of Jesus’ statements! They did not have any answer; all they had was a reaction! In fact, it was the very ‘good things’ that Jesus was doing among them that caused them the difficulty! It is strange that while going about doing good, Jesus was accused of being bad!
Do we expect to experience any other reaction from others as we live to bring Christ to the world? Good is considered bad! Godly living is considered ‘prudish’ and odd by those rejecting Christ. When a Christian lets his or her light ‘shine’ all around, the believer is shown for what he or she is. A person hiding in the dark does not want the light shined upon them…..they want to remain as they are…..unseen and hidden.
When Jesus ‘went about doing good,’ those around Him were able to see the contrast of His life with theirs, and did not appreciate seeing the truth. There is no darkness in light…none at all. The light changes the nature of the dark. The Goodness of God by its nature demonstrates the badness that is around.
So, Jesus left those behind who rejected Him, and brought His good news to people who received Him; who wanted what He had to share. We cannot avoid everyone who disagrees with us! Jesus didn’t either. But, he demonstrated to us that, just as He did, we need to separate ourselves from those who would want to not only reject the good news we bring, but who would want to prevent us from sharing it with anyone else. He left them and went to where He knew there would be people who were sincerely seeking God; at the place where John was baptizing people who were confessing their sins. If Jesus was rejected while doing good, we can expect the same as we live to emulate him. Let us examine ourselves and choose to do good, even if it brings about rejection from others. Let us live unto Christ.
Dcn. Skip ministers at St. Luke’s Anglican Church