And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was first baptizing, and He was staying there. Many came to Him and were saying, “While John performed no sign, yet everything John said about this man was true.” Many believed in Him there.
– John 10:40-42
Today’s passage picks up where yesterday’s left off. Recall that Jesus’ opponents picked up stones to stone Him, and that He asked them for which of His miracles (making the blind to see? making the deaf to hear? making the lame to walk?) were they going to stone Him. They said it wasn’t the miracles, but rather His theological views that justified the stoning. Even after He explained to them a very rational scriptural basis for the specific view they were challenging, you see above that they still sought to seize Him.
Opposition to Jesus is, at its root, invariably irrational. Upon what rational basis would you oppose goodness?
Regarding the miracles, many people today consider ancient people as gullible and therefore willing to accept miracle accounts that would never pass muster in today’s scientific age. However, you have seen enough Bible passages like today’s and yesterday’s to see that skepticism is not an invention of modernity. Skepticism has always been present in humanity.
When you think about it, you realize that Jesus’ countrymen were displaying as much or more skepticism about His miracles than do people today. I say “as much or more” because the evidence was so much more accessible to them. They could actually follow Jesus and watch Him. They could also interview the people who were healed. We have written testimony from eyewitnesses, but they had access to the eyewitnesses and in some cases were actually eyewitnesses themselves. And still, some wouldn’t believe!
Notice also in this passage how much God distinguished Jesus from John the Baptist. John was blessed by God. John was sent by God. Even Jesus submitted to the baptism of John. Yet God chose not to perform miracles through John. This was to distinguish Jesus even more. We have so little reason to doubt or ignore Jesus of Nazareth!
As the passage shows in its concluding remark about the reliability of John the Baptist’s testimony, not everyone was skeptical. Some believed; others didn’t. As it was then, so it is today.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord Jesus, count me as believing – even more today than yesterday…(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)