Jesus is Now

Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” John 11:17-27.

Martha had faith enough to believe that Jesus could have healed her brother. But when Jesus tells her that Lazarus will rise again, she responds with the equivalent of, “yeah, someday.” But Jesus tells her, “I am the resurrection and the life.” This is another “I am” statement from Jesus. Jesus is the eternal God. He always was, and always will be.

Jesus talks her off the ledge of unbelief and asks her if she believes. She renews her faith in Him, and now He is ready to pray.

If we only believe that Jesus was and someday will be, we will miss who He is now. If we hold fast to our modern ideas that miracles and healing have past away, we will be like the disobedient Hebrews who forgot that they had just seen the hand of God deliver them. “Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.” (Psalm 78:41).

Even though I believe those things are for today, I know that too many of His miracles in my own life are something that “used to be.” I must continually renew my own faith, because the gravitational pull of unbelief is a constant that never rests.

Not By Books Alone

About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?” So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?” The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?” Jesus answered them, “I did one work, and you all marvel at it. Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man’s whole body well? Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” John 6:14-24.

What we learn about the material world is dependent on our ability to measure it. As we develop better microscopes, telescopes, and other more sensitive instruments, what we know changes. The material world hasn’t changed; just our understanding of it.

Our understanding of the spiritual world also grows as we observe and experience it. Our physical instruments are not able to measure it, and this has made it hard to determine what makes one an expert. But we have been able to experience times when the spiritual world has broken into the natural world. Thousands of people were fed by Jesus, whose only apparent resources were five loaves and two fish and His blessing. The religious authorities observed and accused Jesus of doing miracles on the Sabbath. Things like this made Jesus an expert on the power of God, and contributed to His high profile execution.

Jesus told the crowd that they could know that His teaching was true, if their will was to do God’s will. Consequently, if it is not your will to do God’s will, you will totally miss it. That is why the rulers missed it, even when they saw the evidence. It is because the revelation of truth is only given to those who are already submitting themselves to God’s will. Do that, and you will begin to see. Keep doing that, and more will be revealed.

Choosing and Feeling

So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee. John 4:46-54.

This man chose to believe before he felt it. When he accepted Jesus’s word and went home; this was a choice. When his son was healed, faith came into full flower. Now he and his whole household believed.

God wants to be taken at His word. This is hard to do if all you believe in is what you see, feel, and hear in the natural world. This is why we live by faith, and not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7). It will set you apart from the unbelieving world that trusts in the ever changing “facts” that come from scientific inquiry. Long after you have gone home to the Lord, their answers will keep changing.

Seekers Find

The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” John 1:35-51.

Before He had ever healed the sick, cast out a devil, walked on water, or raised the dead, there were those who believed. That is because these men were seekers, waiting for the Messiah expectantly. Before long, however, some who saw him make the paralytic walk would conspire to destroy him. That is because mere physical evidence does not convert the soul. “For with the heart one believes and is justified…” (Romans 10:10).

Seeing is not believing. Believing comes as a result of hearing the word of God with the heart. (Romans 10:17). And believing precedes miracles, not the other way around.

“Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, said in a loud voice, ‘Stand upright on your feet.’ And he sprang up and began walking.” (Acts 14:8-10).