Does it seem that Jesus needs to be a little more plain-spoken? That, apparently, was what some of the Jews thought! Jesus was teaching in Solomon’s Colonnade, an area that was used by rabbis inside the confines of the temple.
John reports that Jesus’ teaching drew a crowd. And the crowd had a question: “The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.'” (John 10:24, NIV).
Jesus’ answer reminds me of an experience I had at the gym the other day. I tried to say something to someone about the Cardinals t-shirt he was wearing, and he totally ignored me. Then Julie pointed out the earbuds he was also wearing — totally drowning out everything I was saying to him.
Jesus’ response to the crowd was to say, in effect, “What suspense?! I’ve told you with words. I’ve shown you with actions. If you can’t see who I am, perhaps the problem is not with me! How about you take a look at yourselves? Maybe you should consider pulling the earplugs out of your ears, and take the sleeping mask off your eyes.”
“Then maybe you could wake up to who I really am,” Jesus suggests in so many words. “Meanwhile, the only one keeping you in suspense is you!”
Jesus then appeals to them to have a good look and a good listen: “Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” (John 10:37-38, NIV).
What “earplugs” are we wearing today that keep us from hearing Jesus? What “sleeping masks” do we have on that prevent us from trusting that Jesus is who he claims to be?
- Are we really concentrated and busy just making this life work?
- Are we focused on being a moral person so we can consider ourselves “good”?
- Are we overwhelmed with problems and crises in our life?
- Is success’s (however we define that!) siren call just too loud to ignore?
- Does my intellectual prowess mean so much to me that I just can’t allow myself to explore the spiritual?
- Do my relationships demand so much of me that there is no time for God?
These are just a few of the possibilities. But if you can’t see Jesus for who he claims to be — the Son of God, true God come in the flesh, and your Savior from sin — consider for just a moment that it might not be that Jesus hasn’t shown you clearly who he is.
It might be that you haven’t taken the opportunity to remove the distractions and really have a good look and a good listen.
Our Bible reading for Monday, May 18, is 1 Samuel 1:1 – 2:26, John 10:22-42 and Psalm 63:1-11.
Lord Jesus, I ask you to help me take the blinders off and the cotton out of my ears. I am distracted by many things, but nothing is important enough for me to lose my eternity over. Help me to see you for who you really are: my Savior from sin, my Lord, and my God.
Header image based on "PP" by Andres Rodriguez, CC By-SA 2.0