Text: John 2: 23-25
Focus: John 2: 23
This text shows us there is a difference between true faith and false faith. Here there is referred to people who believed on the basis of the miracles they saw. John emphasises that it is not miracles that will make us believe, but only the work of the Holy Spirit (also see 6:30, 37, 65). Only those who receive the Holy Spirit from the Father, will believe.
It is important that we examine ourselves as well. On what is our faith built? We can easily believe or say we believe, but in reality for us it is about what we can get out of it, and not about what we have already received in Christ.
Charles Spurgeon (19 June 1834 - 31 January 1892) was a preacher in England who told the story of a carrot farmer who had great respect and appreciation for his king and therefore decided to take his best carrots to the king to show his gratitude.
The king was impressed with the farmer and then told him that he was giving him the land adjacent to his farm. The farmer, full of joy and gratitude, returned home. One of the king's servants observed this whole situation and decided that he would give his studhorse to the king. Because if the king gives all that land for carrots, what would the king give for a studhorse?
The next day the servant took his studhorse to the king, saying he is full of appreciation for what the king is doing. The king took the horse, turned and walked away. When he saw the surprise on the servant’s face, he said to him, "The farmer gave me the carrots as king, but you really only gave the horse to yourself."
The servant gave the horse to the king to get something in return.
Our true motives often only becomes visible in times of tribulations. If our faith in Christ is about ourselves, we will rebel against all the bad things that happen to us. We will wrestle with questions such as, "How can the Lord allow such a thing happen to His children?" As if we deserve better or are better than everyone else in the world.
Actually, our attitude only reveals what we comprehend. It shows that we do not understand what we have already received in Christ. We do not serve the King for who He is and for what He has already given us. No, we have our own agenda.
We are also like those who follow Jesus with their own preconceived ideas and conditions. It’s not about Him, but about us and our needs.
If we think that the Lord should act differently towards us because we are his children, then Jesus had so much more reason to be rebellious about it. He is the perfect Son of God. Yet the Father allowed Him to be humbled and crucified.
He died for us! Should we not then also be willing to bear the difficult circumstances in life, because we love our King?
Just think of who He is. He loves us immensely. So much so that He becomes human and dies for our sins. He saves us from misery and every miracle points to the wonderful spiritual healing He has wrought for us.
This is who we should love; not someone who can save us from our misery or bring an end to our suffering. Of course, He can do it if He wants to, but if He does not want to then it must not affect our faith in Him.
Our faith must not depend on what God is willing to do for us; our faith must be firmly rooted in the love He has already shown us on the cross. There is no greater love.