Then said Jesus unto him, “Except you see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” John 4:48
Jesus, what are we really looking for? This isn’t the first time I’ve thought about this. Are some of us just looking for a ticket out of hell? Are we looking for signs and wonders? Are we looking for an easy life? What is it that so many are really looking for?
Well, You see into the heart of man. And You pointed out that we are not always looking for the right thing. We want to believe according to our own expectations and standards. We often don’t look the right way and we miss the whole point.
So here is this nobleman with a sick child. And before his child was sick, I don’t think he was looking for You. But when his child became deathly ill, yes, when he became deathly ill, this father seeks You out when You come to his town. I suppose he had heard about the water turning to wine. So that made You his only choice. If You could turn water to wine, maybe You could heal his child. But what about all the time in between? Why did it have to take a miracle to force him to look at You?
But this whole thought, this whole account brings me back to Samaria, which is where You just came from. And I think of these words that John shared, “And many more believed because of His own word; and said unto the woman, ‘Now we believe, not because of your saying: for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.'” (John 4:41,42) Why did the Samaritan’s believe? Was it because of a miracle? Was it because You told Mary secret things about herself? Was it because of extraordinary circumstances? No. It was because of Your own words that they heard. It no longer had anything to do with her testimony. They heard You. They came to know from the Truth that You spoke.
This is what made You more than a prophet. I mean, You weren’t the first prophet to perform miracles or to raise the dead. But You brought grace and truth. You brought the power to work deep within a person to transform the heart and mind to conform to Your image and to live out Your truth. Now that is the greatest miracle of all. It’s what God has always been looking forward to. This is the time when “true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for the Father seeks such to worship Him.” (John 4:23) This is what You came to enable us to do.
Miracles made people think of prophets. Prophets were men used by God. But You aren’t just a man and You are not just being used by God. You are God. All power has always been Yours. So it’s not amazing for You to perform a miracle. I mean, You created everything out of nothing! Of course You can raise the dead and cure the lame and make the blind to see. You are God! Maybe we are looking for miracles because we are so busy treating You like a man, like just another prophet. But what if we started treating You like God?
You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life. You are the only way to the Father. And what will the Comforter do when He comes? The Spirit of truth will guide us into all truth and show us things to come. What is Your goal for us? To sanctify us, set us apart for You and make us like You, by Your truth. What is truth? Your Word is truth.
This truth thing was a big problem for Pilate. He asked, “What is truth?” And the truth of the matter is that You are Truth. But our problem is that we keep looking at You like a man. See, even Pilate was looking at You like a king. What is a king but a man in authority? But You are not just a king and You are not a “man king.” You came into the world not to be king, but to bear witness to the Truth. It’s all about knowing You and living for You and experiencing You and seeing You for who You really are. And it’s about really hearing what You are saying.
Trust in You comes from hearing from You and from understanding and perceiving Your Word. We obtain an inheritance in You as we trust in You, after hearing the Word of Truth, the Gospel of our salvation. We believe and are sealed by Your Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 1:13) Really, it’s not about the word of men; it’s all about hearing You for ourself. Listen again to Paul in 1 Thessalonians 2:13, “For this cause also we thank God without ceasing, because, when you received the Word of God which you heard from us, you didn’t receive it as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually works also in you that believe.”
Actually, it is all about a miracle. But the miracle is the power of Your Word to work in our hearts. The miracle is the power of Your Word to open our hearts and to give us ears that hear and eyes that see and a heart that receives and a mind that understands and perceives the things of God. Because lots of people received extraordinary miracles. The dead were raised, the sick were healed, the blind had vision restored, the lepers were cleansed, demons were cast out, but even after the miracles, not all entrusted themselves to You. I wonder how many of them cried out “Crucify Him,” that day? But to receive the Word of Truth, to have it engrafted in our hearts, to have the Holy Spirit give us understanding, now that’s a miracle. But that’s a miracle that brings us personally close to You.
We each have to find You for ourself. I can’t follow You by following anyone else. I can’t even follow You just by shear knowledge of Your Word. I know that because of the lawyer who spoke up in Luke. “What shall I do to inheret eternal life?” And he even gave a really good answer, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind: and your neighbor as yourself.” Yes, right answer. He could say it. He could teach others to say it. But he wasn’t living it. And he wasn’t living it because He didn’t really understand it. He didn’t really see the Truth of it. He hadn’t experienced the Truth of it for himself. Because to experience the Truth of it would have changed his whole life.
Am I willing to experience the Truth of You, the whole Truth? Will I set miracles aside and first learn to listen to You? Will I learn the heart of what it really means to obey, or what it really means to love, or what it really means to die to self? Will I stop focussing on everything that seems so grand and start focussing on the nitty gritty? Will I really stop and listen to You? Will I let You change my perceptions? Will I let You change the way I see things? Will I take the time to believe You for the Words You have spoken to me? Lord, bring me to the knowledge of the Truth, continually. I want to live in Your knowledge. I want to live in the Truth. I want to know it for myself. I want to know You myself. I want to hear from You myself. I want to experience You myself. The Truth shall set you free. I want to live in continual freedom in the Truth that is You.