47. Confused

Short Meditations in John 5:  47. Confused

Jn 5:47  But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”

There were times in Jesus’ teaching when he basically said, “Well you’ve been given enough here. If you won’t believe this, then there is little point in spelling it out even more to you because the hardness of your hearts is what stops you seeing the truth.”

A good example of this is in Matt 11 when Jesus talks to the crowds (v.7) about John the Baptist and after saying a lot about him, he concluded, “And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” (v.14,15)  i.e. it was clear who John was, but if you have doubts, think about it and make up your minds. If you can, you’ll see he was God’s fulfilment of His word about an ‘Elijah’ who was to come before me.

In the previous brief meditation we considered Jesus’ teaching in the midst of the story of the Parable of the Sower, but he ended that parable with, Whoever has ears, let them hear.” (Mt 13:9), a expression he often used that had behind it the implication, if you have a seeking heart you will have ears that hear these words and understand what I am getting at, but if your heart is not seeking after God you will merely hear the words and the understanding will elude you. It is a basic principle in respect of Jesus.

So when you take all this and apply it to what he is just saying about Moses, we find him saying – without spelling it out so it is ultra-obvious – Moses was one of the ‘sign posts’ of the past who pointed towards me, but if you won’t believe the sign post, it’s no wonder you can’t arrive at the destination, me!

Yes, it isn’t patently clear but when you stop and think about it – and thinking is required – it does speak the message Jesus is conveying. Now one of the things that worries me in the present age is that within the church there are so often people who say things like, “Oh well, the Bible is difficult to understand so that’s why I don’t read it,” or, “The preacher doesn’t make his sermons clear enough, so I don’t go to church.”

Each of these sort of comments reveal a self-centred and NON-seeking heart, a complacent heart, a heart that will receive the censure of Jesus.  The people in Jesus’ day witnessed the incredible ministry that he had, not only his marvelously sharp teaching, but also his healings and deliverances and miracles and there really was no excuse for their inability to see – except hard-heartedness. When we have access to the Bible and free access to churches of every shape and kind, we might suggest that people today, similarly, have no excuse – except hard-heartedness!

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