Scripture: Luke 22:63-71
Key verses: (67-68) “He replied, “If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I question you, you will not answer.”
Reflection: Some things in life have to be experienced in order for us to believe they are true. In the last hours of Jesus’ life, he was beaten and questioned by people who had already made up their minds. There was nothing that Jesus could have said that would have changed the minds of the council of chief priests and scribes. They were too angry. This anger had built up over a long period of time. They didn’t like what Jesus taught or did throughout his ministry. It made them look bad. The religious leaders were so caught up in doing everything according to the letter of the law that they had lost sight of the real needs of people. Jesus didn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. He applied all that he had been taught in a way that challenged those in power. Of course, the ultimate blasphemy was saying he was the Son of God and the Messiah. But, in today’s passage he merely says “you say that I am” in response to their questions. At this point, he knew he had nothing to lose. He was going to die.
For those who were healed and set free, they didn’t need to be told Jesus was the Son of God. They experienced first-hand the power of God, through Jesus, to restore life. Jesus offered hope to the hopeless, healing to the sick, and nourishment to body and spirit. When people experienced his presence they believed. Some things have to be experienced in order for us to believe. It’s not enough to talk about something. But, when we have the opportunity to experience God, our minds are changed. When we work side-by-side with a Habitat homeowner as a new home is built or we see the compassionate care of our members for one another or we participate in a peaceful protest to right an injustice, we have the opportunity to believe because of the experience. I have seen the power of God to heal a person who is dying. When I hold the hand of someone who has been healed but not cured, I experience the peace, presence and love of God. My hope is you have experienced God’s love on a mission trip, delivering a meal to an elderly person, or praying for a friend. There are so many ways that God is active in the world when we pay attention.
Others may come to believe because of the power of Jesus working in our lives. Open yourself to this possibility today and live out what you believe. This is how someone else might experience Jesus.
Prayer: Loving God, we give thanks for the gift of faith and the ability to believe that you are Lord and Savior. Help us to live lives that reflect God’s love and care to others. 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].