Advent 21 (2013): Responding to Miracles

John 2:23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. 25 He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.

We’re closing in on Christmas and our Advent series Emmanuel: When LOVE Showed Up In-Person will be concluding.  Looking into these early verses of the Gospel of John, are we amazed, seeing the miraculous?

  • The Word existing before time.
  • The Word being made flesh and dwelling among us.
  • The Word being the glory of the One and Only, visible to our human eyes in the Son of God as the aperture of the invisible opens for the briefest moment to allow us to see the fullness of grace and truth, to see God without it killing us.
  • The Word performing the miraculous in Jesus’ actions in the same way as the very miracle of Creation, attesting to His having been God all along.

So what is our response?

Some people in Jesus’ day followed along like fans, gawkers, or prophet seekers.  They wanted to be on-hand to catch the latest miracle.  It’d be like us following Jesus around with our iPhones ready to capture a video of the latest sign and wonder to post to Twitter or Facebook.  They’re in it for the celebrity and for being so close to a miracle man.

Or is our response to be less in awe of the miracles…and more in awe that God would send Jesus—the very glory of the One and Only—to come in-person to teach us what true faith and true worship look like?

In today’s passage in Greek, there’s a word play going on between the words believed (v 23) and entrust (v 24).  Jesus’ entrusting wouldn’t happen just because a few people were following Him around for their own reasons.  Jesus closes the loop only on real genuine faith.

It comes back to our response.  What will we do with Jesus at Christmas and beyond?  Will we sing a few carols, light candles, and then move on to New Year’s?  Will we believe until the presents are unwrapped and the tree is out at the curb?  Or will His coming change our lives?  Jesus knows what is in us and how we’re responding to miracles.  He closes the loop only on real…genuine…faith.

Jeremiah 17: 5 This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. 6 He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. 7 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. 8 He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” 9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? 10 “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”

search the heart

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on December 21, 2013

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