It was the Feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem.  It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in Solomon’s porch.  The Jews therefore came around him and said to him, “How long will you hold us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”  Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you don’t believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name, these testify about me.
No matter how many people Jesus healed, many Jewish people refused to believe. They demanded signs and refused to believe the testimony of others (1 Cor 1:22). They wanted to see a spectacle, a miracle, and they were not going to believe until they did (John 6:30). Jesus was the chosen of God (John 5:36). However, Jesus did not do miracles at his discretion. Jesus did and said what he saw and heard (John 3:32).
When the Jews demanded an answer from the Lord, he spoke what he heard. He told them to look at the previous signs and make a judgment. How many signs did the Jewish people need? Always one more. It is the same in the lives of many modern-day believers. No matter how many times the Lord intervenes in some believers’ lives, they refuse to trust him. They are constantly seeking signs. This behavior opens believers up to demonic influence (1 Thes 2:9).
Following signs is dangerous. We must remember the signs God has already performed. We store these in our hearts. Then, when our faith is challenged, we can think about the past moves of God and believe. However, God does not perform miracles so people will believe. He performs miracles to both help his children, and to place his seal of approval on godly ministers and believers (John 5:37, 10:25). The one by whom a miracle comes, if they are performed in Jesus’ name, is the chosen of the Lord.
Lord, please help me call to mind your past moves in my life. I repent of needing to see signs before I will believe. Help me trust you on good days and difficult days. Give me eyes to see your miracles. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Therefore a division arose again among the Jews because of these words.  Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane! Why do you listen to him?”  Others said, “These are not the sayings of one possessed by a demon. It isn’t possible for a demon to open the eyes of the blind, is it?”
Jesus had trouble. In the verses above he is in a crowd and some of the people listening begin to accuse him of being demonized and insane. This is not so different from what believers experience today. In Christian circles, some would call Jesus demonized. At the same time, unbelievers today would likely call Jesus insane.
Jesus definitely had trouble at times when he was sharing the truth. Yet he spoke the truth anyways. Jesus did not get overwhelmed with a spirit of rejection or self-protection. Rather, he continued telling the truth which was a true act of love. Because Jesus loved others more than he loved himself he was able to stand for truth. Jesus also loved the Father more than he loved himself. That love helped him to defeat his flesh and stand for God.
Jesus experienced rejection and shame, yet, he did not turn against God. Instead, Jesus spent time in prayer, he knew the scriptures, and he testified to the truth. And many were saved. Today we are still mandated to witness to unbelievers with the hope that some will be saved (Mark 16:15-16). When we start sharing Christ, some will slander us and call us names. These are beautiful opportunities to lay our lives down, show the love of God, and stand in solidarity with Jesus.
Lord, please lead me into a love that is greater than my sense of self-protection. Teach me to love you and others more than I love myself. Help me to open my mouth and testify of your greatness and anoint me to lead others into a saving knowledge of You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 WEB
Often we hear preaching that speaks of the world derisively. Yet, in this passage, it clearly says that God loves the world. So, while it’s popular to condemn the world from the pulpit, it is not what God does. God does not currently condemn the world, rather, God wants to save the world. This is why Jesus was sent so that anyone who believes in Him will be saved. But here is the problem, when preachers condemn the world in one message and teach the great commission in another message they are defiling the word of God. The great commission is the command from the New Testament for the church to bring the lost into a saving relationship with Christ. However, Christians are often taught to hate ungodly people from the pulpit. What other outcome can there be from a message of condemnation? God does not condemn the world. Rather, he endured the cross so that the world could be saved. If anyone is going to be a soul winner for Christ, they have to love the lost. So, rather than defile the hearts of believers with an unbiblical message of present condemnation, preachers need to teach a message of love for the world.
Lord, help me to love the world without being defiled by the world. Help me to love people without letting their sin infect my heart. In Jesus’ name, amen.