“Then they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.’ Therefore they said to Him, ‘What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ Then they said to Him, ‘Lord, give us this bread always.’ And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.’” (John 6.28-36).
Some people quote what they believe to be scripture and say, “God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform!” There may be some truth in this saying even though it is not scripture per se. But, some of the things that we say are mysterious only mysterious because we make them that way; and not because God has surrounded them in mystery. This is not to say that there are not things about God that are and shall be a mystery; however, it is to say that some things such as faith are not mysteries.
The work of God, according to Jesus, is to bring about faith in the human heart, and that in order to save mankind. However, there are many, many people who refuse to believe and demand some special sign just so they can believe. This was precisely what the multitudes to whom Jesus was speaking were doing. Many signs had already been performed. They had physically eaten the evidence a few hours earlier when Jesus more than five thousand people with the meager meal of a lad. Yet, here they were “at the well” again asking for more when that which had already been given was adequate and compelling. Some believed and yet others rejected the implications of the miracle; that wanted more proof – proof piled on top of proof!
Jesus recognized that the flaw was neither in the proof nor in the performing of the signs; He knew that the problem was in the heart of those who were asking for re-confirmation. Confirmation proves or legitimizes a point; re-confirmation is entirely redundant and an entirely different situation! Jesus had them dead to rights when He said, “You have seen Me and yet do not believe.” What greater proof could be offered? Like the Magicians of Pharaoh’s court, there might have been some who could have imitated the signs of Jesus, but no one could have duplicated them. The hardened condition of their hearts would not allow them to see the obvious!
For this reason and perhaps for many, many more, Jesus refused to give these want-to-be-seekers another sign! After all, the proofs already given were not something that could be explained away, or shown to be deficient in any measure! Good and honest hearts reach conclusion about God based on the evidence available. Faith, unlike what many people believe, is not a leap in the dark, but it is a logical conclusion based on a set of evidences that cannot be refuted. This type of proof has been available to any and all generations! It was God who established this system and it will be God who honors it in eternity when He uses “the faith once for all delivered” (see Jude 3) as the measuring “device” against which every heart and life will be ultimately compared.
Do yourself a favor; don’t ask for a sign; merely believe those which have been given and confirmed.
1. What proofs had these men seen that should have brought them to faith?
2. What evidence did they “set aside” when they asked Him what sign HE would show them?
3. How often must a confirmed fact be confirmed again?
4. What does John 12.48 imply concerning the eternal nature of the word of God?
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