When he was in Jerusalem during the Passover festival, many believed in his name because they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part would not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to testify about anyone; for he himself knew what was in everyone.
This passage is only 3 verses long, but it is one that brings home to me the humanity of Jesus. It’s a short hiatus in His journey, where reality confronts him. People were seeing the miracles, seeing amazing things happen; and were persuaded that Jesus was someone special because of these signs. But Jesus knew that this wasn’t “real” faith – in more recent times we might have referred to them as “rice Christians”; a term Harper Lee used to describe converts made by missionaries, who were believers until the rice ran out. It must have been hard for Jesus to decide what to do next – carry on with the miracles that were part of his mission, to make people understand who and what he was, or whether it might not work at all! When he was gone, and the miracles didn’t happen – would people still believe? Would they remember Him, would they be brought to God?
It seems to me that this struggle is still going on, that the religious groups growing fastest today are those making promises, dealing in certainty – how do we answer those who come looking for miracles and leave disappointed and angry?
No – I don’t know either.
But I know every day I carry on, living with uncertainty, living with doubts, and being lifted up again by the miracle of the ordinary, the miracle of the everyday, the miracle of the first step. I don’t think God demands any more of us than that.
Lord, forgive me when I look for more than there is. Forgive me when I ask for more than I need. When I lose my way in a cloud of uncertainty, Help me to remember that your hand is there to guide me Back to the path that leads to you Amen
Ann Honey is a Church Related Community Worker serving at Robert Stewart Memorial Church, Fenham in the Northern Synod.