Thursday, March 10, 2011

Who is this man?

If only I could see Jesus, then I would believe.
If only God would do a miracle, then I would believe.
If only God would (fill in the blank), then I would believe.
Really?  Are you sure?
Would you believe God if he led you through your day with a pillar of fire?
Would you believe God if he rained down food from heaven?
Would you believe God if he freed you from slavery and led you across a sea on dry land?
After the ten spies talked the rest of the Israelites out of obeying God and taking possession of the promised land, God said to Moses, "How long will these people treat me with contempt?  Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them?  They have all seen my glorious presence and the miraculous signs I performed both in Egypt and in the wilderness, but again and again they have tested me by refusing to listen to my voice."  (Numbers 14:11,22)  
Did you get that?  The Israelites saw God's presence in the fire and in the cloud that led them through the wilderness.  They saw miraculous signs in Egypt and in the desert.  God was with them.  But again and again they refused to listen to Him.  They refused to trust Him.  They refused to believe.

But they are not the only ones.
Jesus' closest friends saw him perform miracles. They walked with him.  They talked with him.  They knew him better than anyone else and yet when they were on the boat in the storm they panicked.  Jesus asked them, "Why are you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith?" (Mark 4:40)  Then he commanded the waves to be still.  When  the disciples saw that Jesus even controlled the wind and waves, they were terrified and cried out, "Who is this man?"(Mk.4:41)
Sometimes we too are surprised by Jesus.  We think we know him and then he does something out of the ordinary.  We think we understand his ways and then he rocks our world and we cry, "Who is this?"  

Jesus traveled around and did many miracles--except in Nazareth.  In his own home town they did not accept him.  And because of their unbelief, he couldn't do any miracles among them except to place his hand on a few sick people and heal them.  And he was amazed at their unbelief. (Mk. 6:5-6)
What about us?  Is Jesus amazed at our unbelief after all these years?  Does he say to us as he said to his disciples, "Do you still have no faith?"  Is our unbelief keeping him from doing miracles among us?

After feeding 5,000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fish, Mark says that the disciples still didn't understand the significance of the miracle because their hearts were too hard to take it in. (Mk. 6:52)
How often is my heart too hard to take in his miracles?  How often do I miss the significance of what he does?
Don't you know or understand even yet?  Are your hearts too hard to take it in?  You have eyes.  Can't you see?  You have ears.  Can't you hear?  Don't you remember anything at all?  (Mk. 8:17-18)
The words of Jesus in Mark 8 sound an awful lot like the words of God in Numbers 14.
I don't know about you, but I don't want to miss out on the promised land.  I don't want to have a hard heart or eyes that fail to see what God is doing.  I want to remember what he has done in the past and be sensitive to what he is doing today.
Do you still have no faith?
What will it take for you to believe?

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