Why don’t people understand who Jesus is? It is the central question in this Gospel passage.
Who is Jesus? The answer comes from Jesus’ relationship with God, whom he calls Father. Also the witnesses tell us everything about Jesus. The Apostle John identifies four sources of witness to Jesus:
- the works of Jesus himself,
- John the Baptist,
- the writings of the Bible,
- and the voice of the Heavenly Father at his baptism in the River Jordan.
Lent Daily Devotional
For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. (full text at John 5:31-47)
They do Not Understand who Jesus is
When Jesus talks about himself, he emphasizes the works that he does. They are a clear indication that he is the Savior sent by God.
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However, Jesus’ listeners have a minimal thought pattern. They cannot get past their false stereotypes of the Messiah and do not recognize Jesus. Their minds lack supernatural light.
Their Hearts are Far from God
Although people of that time had religious practices, they were more a cultural phenomenon than an expression of faith. Therefore, they were distanced from God, even though they talked about Him every day. They did not hear His voice and did not want to listen. Their hearts were full of political ambition and worldly strife but not of the Word of God.
Jesus is the Answer
If they had listened to the message Jesus preached, they would be different people. If they had opened up to him, God would have given them the grace of knowledge they needed.
They looked to the scriptures for salvation. But when salvation came knocking in their lives, they could not take their eyes off the scriptures and open the door. All they had to do was move and come to Jesus.
They had great respect for Moses, but they did not have Moses’ open heart for God.
Therefore, Jesus points out that the Jews are not looking for the meaning of life where it belongs.
Do You realize how Precious the Gift is?
Today in Lent, we need to examine our hearts and understand the great gift we have received from God. We know Jesus and have His friendship.
Prayer for Today
I thank You, Heavenly Father, for Your Son Jesus. He is a true treasure in my life. Thank You, Lord, for all the people who have helped me discover and know You. I also want to thank You for the circumstances that brought me to You. Faith is a very precious gift to me.
I want to live by faith and be an instrument of your love for other people. Therefore, I ask that your grace may flow through me and touch those people who need it most. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.