Paul once wrote about the people with whom he was sharing Christ that all they seemed to want was either miracles or worldly wisdom. Jesus alone just wasn’t all that satisfying to many of them. It was a mystery to them how Paul could get so excited about this guy.
John, the apostle, had the same issue. He would teach people about Jesus, and do so with exceptional clarity. Yet, it was apparently very easy for others to follow him with false messages, and the people would quickly listen to those instead. It got so bad, John had to write them from his prison cell on the island of Patmos and say this: “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1, NIV).
But the killer is that even Jesus himself had trouble convincing people of who he is. Despite his working miracles right in front of their eyes this occurred! In the face of teaching such wisdom that many people were amazed at the words that fell from his lips, Jesus still had people doubt who he is.
Why is it so hard? Why is it so difficult for people to believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world, the one who has the words of eternal life. What causes so many to refuse to believe?
The Bible has the answers we seek. Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? The answers to all these questions are found there. And those answers all point to one person — Jesus Christ.
And Jesus’ deepest desire is for us to come to him in faith. But the reality is (as Paul states clearly in 1 Corinthians 2) that believing in Jesus is far more spiritual in nature than it is rational. The Holy Spirit is needed to overcome our strong natural resistance to Jesus caused by the sin in us.
Sin in us. Satan against us. The world and its Jesus-resistant culture surrounding us. It’s no wonder it’s hard. But never, ever think it’s impossible. It’s not, because the Holy Spirit is far more powerful than all of these put together. Times 100!
“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 5:39-40, NIV).
Our Bible reading for Friday, May 8 is Judges 7:8b – 8:35, John 5:31-47 and Proverbs 11:19-28.
Lord, send your Spirit to help me believe that you are my Lord and my personal Savior. Send your Spirit to teach me that all my sins are forgiven. Send your Spirit to convince me that you have the words of eternal life!
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