A Season of Transition, a Season of Prayer — Please join us each day at 11:30 a.m. in offering a personal but collective prayer for our congregation. Today’s focus for prayer is: For all families expecting a new baby.
Scripture: John 2:23-3:15
Key Verses: 23-25 “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.”
Reflection: The verses above are often described as a transition from one story to the next in Jesus’ ministry. Here we see the transition from Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple to the familiar story about the Pharisee Nicodemus who is challenged to be born again. But, these verses represent more than a transition. They remind us that many people in Jerusalem believed in Jesus based on the signs and wonders they saw him perform. They didn’t necessarily see God’s glory in the things he did, nor did they have faith. Their trust was based on what he did for them.
Is this the kind of faith that will sustain us through life? Jesus didn’t seem to think so. The text says that Jesus saw how their belief was based on what he was doing, so he didn’t believe the people’s belief. He knew them. He understood human nature. It is easy to have faith when every prayer is answered the way we want. But, what happens when there are no signs and wonders? These 3 verses are the perfect set-up for the Nicodemus story in which Nicodemus is challenged to discover the meaning of faith. Remember Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves. Where have you placed your trust? What strengthens your faith – signs and miracles – or the experience of knowing that Jesus is with you?
Prayer: O Lord, we thank you for the gift of faith. Help us to trust more in you and the power of your Holy Spirit no matter what happens in our lives. Confirm our faith – not by signs and wonders – but by your abiding presence in the good times and in the bad. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].