Signs – John 6:22-59

“Jesus answered, ‘Truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Don’t work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set his seal of approval on him.’ ‘What can we do to perform the works of God?’ they asked. Jesus replied, ‘This is the work of God—that you believe in the one he has sent.’ “What sign, then, are you going to do so that we may see and believe you?’ they asked” (John 6:26-30, CSB).

The signs or miracles Jesus performed weren’t so much to get people to believe in Him as to validate His Messiahship. Jesus was more interested in granting people eternal life than in performing miracles to heal or feed them.

Jesus wanted more from our belief than just believing in the miracles He performed.

Belief in His Messiahship was the belief Jesus wanted His disciples to have. Jesus described it as a life-sustaining belief: “Truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life in yourselves. The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day, because my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink” (vs. 53-55).

In a previous post, Savage Faith, we noted that in these verses Jesus likened following Him to spiritual cannibalism! Following Jesus is a matter of consuming Jesus…. and then being consumed by Jesus!

There are several levels of belief according to the way we use and understand the word “belief.” As concerning Jesus, maybe we could order “belief” along a scale something like this:

  • believing Jesus existed as a human being –>
  • believing Jesus was a miracle-worker –>
  • believing Jesus was (and is) the Son of God –>
  • believing Jesus wants to bring you into His eternal family.

Believing Jesus wants to give you eternal life means you want to be His disciple, to do what He does, to live your life in total commitment and obedience to Him and His will.

In other words, to eat His flesh and drink His blood!

When Jesus says to believe in Him, He is talking about the totality of your faith. And, it’s much more than just belief in the signs He does…. it’s exhibiting signs of your belief.

In his instruction on faith and works James declared that even the demons believe and they shudder (James 2:19). James explained that there is a level of belief that leads to salvation.

James said that faith must be activated by works to make it complete and then He claims that Abraham was a notable example of this level of belief: “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness” (James 2:23, CSB; cf. Genesis 15:6).

Sometimes we need to check the level of our faith. Does our Christian life manifest our Christian belief? Or, do we only believe in Jesus for the miracles we hope He will perform for us?

While belief may have various levels or degrees or dimensions, there’s only one level of belief that matters for eternity–that Jesus is Lord and Savior!

Everything else is unbelief.

When Jesus stakes His claim on your life, you’re either all in or you’re not in at all!

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1, NKJV)

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