Confused or Confident?

When you read through the gospels, you begin to realize that Jesus did some things when he performed miracles that didn’t always seem necessary or logical.

I get it. I think I might have been a little surprised myself at some of Jesus’ actions. After all, he once made mud out of his own spit which he mixed with some dirt to heal a man who was blind. Was that really necessary?

Then there was the time he stuck his fingers in a man’s ears to heal him of his deafness and then spit and touched his tongue to heal him of being unable to speak. Why all the theatrics? Why not simply heal the man?

When it came to feeding 5000 hungry men and their families, five loaves and two fish provoked more questions than answers: “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” (John 6:9, NIV).

One of the occasions when Jesus started doing things that suggested doubts rather than certainties was when his friend Lazarus died.

Why hadn’t Jesus come earlier? He’d been told of Lazarus’ illness. Didn’t he really care about his friend, or about his friend’s sisters, Mary and Martha? When will Lazarus really rise — now or at the great resurrection on Judgment Day?

There’s a great lesson to be learned here. When Jesus is getting ready to do a work in our lives, it may start with question marks rather than solid assurances. We may sense more inner-confusion that we do winner-confidence.

But that’s OK. Because Jesus’ love and Jesus’ power to do great things don’t depend on us (thank goodness!). They depend on him. He does what he pleases to do. And he does them the way that he pleases to do them.

Because he is God, and we’re not. And because, as the Son of God, his purpose is singular. He is interested in bringing glory to the Father.

So even when Jesus is doing things in ways that raise more questions than answers, his encouragement remains the same.

“Trust me!” he says.

“Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. ‘Take away the stone,’ he said.

‘But, Lord,’ said Martha, the sister of the dead man, ‘by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.’

Then Jesus said, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?'” (John 11:38-40, NIV).

Our Bible reading for Tuesday, May 19, is 1 Samuel 2:27 – 4:22, John 11:1-44 and Psalm 64:1-10.

Lord, help me get past my inner confusion, and send me your Holy Spirit so I can develop winner confidence in you! You may surprise me at times, but I know that you want to do a great work in my heart. And you already have! You have taken me from sin and unbelief to forgiveness and faith. And I thank you for that miracle of new life! Please continue to develop and strengthen my faith in you, Jesus!

Header image based on "Netherlands 3994 - Raising of Lazarus" by Dennis Jarvis, CC By-SA 2.0

Setting the Table

Don’t you love observing Jesus’ mother operate?

In John chapter 1, we watched one disciple after another proclaim Jesus as Messiah and Son of God. In John chapter 2, we get to see Jesus’ Mom treat him as one would only treat someone who is her own son, and who is the Son of God as well! She had clearly seen and believed.

The wedding at Cana was not her first rodeo. She already knew exactly what Jesus is capable of, and exactly what his heart for people is.

So she made a simple request. There was a problem. Jesus had both the power and the will to solve it. So Mary took action and “set the table,” so to speak. She instructed the servants to do whatever Jesus told them to do. This despite the fact that Jesus tried to tell her he wasn’t likely going to do anything. The timing was not right.

Or maybe it was…

“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you” (John 3:1-5, NIV).

Are you ready to set the table for Jesus to do amazing things in your life? I hope so.

Don’t over-think the timing. Because Jesus is just as capable, and just as loving today as he ever was. All we need are the eyes of faith that Mary had, and to be fully convinced that what we believe about Jesus is really real.

Our Bible reading for Friday, May 1, is Joshua 19:1 – 21:19, John 2:1-25, Psalm 54:1-7.

Lord, help me to believe that your power and your love are really real, and that they will have a huge impact in my life. Help me to trust and set the table for you, not worrying about the timing. That part is in your hands, Lord, not mine!

Header image based on "Setting 70" by Didriks, CC By 2.0