Text: “Then said they (the faithless crowd) unto Him, What shall we DO, that we might work the works of God?”
Good morning, faith-filled Christian! There in only one thing that separates you and I from a world of sinful souls who are presently teetering on the edge of a Christ-rejecter’s abyss; on their way to a Christ-less Eternity of outer darkness and separation from our Creator Lord God. That one humanly indescribable thing is God-given FAITH. Praise God for this life-giving gift!
“For by grace (totally unmerited favour from God) are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.“ (Ephesians 2:8-10)
The faithless crowd from Tiberius - whom one could say had, literally, travelled land and sea to come to the Presence of Christ Jesus - had a wasted journey indeed. Why? Because they had come of their own motivation. Their reasons for coming were no doubt as multitudinous as their physical numbers - but God-given faith played no part in the matter. Sad, yet true!
“But without faith (the gift of God) it is impossible to please Him; for he/she that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
The lure of miraculous ‘signs and wonders’ is most obvious in verse 28 of our Bible passage from John’s Gospel. The first thing this crowd of people asked was, ‘What shall we DO, that we might WORK the works of God?’
Everybody loves a circus! Everybody loves a good show! People are naturally deeply curious! That’s why latter-day charlatans have such success! Beware of false showmen and charlatans - they have no faith!
“For we walk by faith, not by sight…” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
Listen how Jesus answered these curiosity-seekers, these self-seekers:
“This is the WORK of God, that ye believe on Him (Christ Himself) Whom He (God the Father) hath sent.” (V.29)
The next question the unbelieving crowd then asked, reveals even more clearly the main, inner focus of their motivation and intentions. “They said therefore unto Him, ’What sign shewest Thou then, that we may see, and believe Thee? What dost Thou work?’”
In a modern idiom they were saying: ‘Hey, man! Show us a miracle! Moses made bread fall out of the sky for our forefathers, can ya beat that? If ya can, then we will believe. We cannot believe in what we cannot physically see!’
Many millions of people today just will NOT believe that Jesus Christ is, was, and always shall be - God the Son, the Son of the Living Lord God. It is clear to see therefore that, they possess no God-given faith to believe in the things that they obviously cannot see, taste, touch, and experience.
Furthermore, IF they do not possess God-given faith - it is also clear that God has not seen fit to give them His gift of faith, for God alone is the Giver.
However, praise God, we who have been given God’s gracious gift of faith, just like the unbelieving crowd from Tiberias do NOT SEE, yet, because of our faith, we fully believe; are pardoned from all sin; and Eternally saved.
“Whosoever believeth (trusts and keeps on trusting) that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and every one that loveth Him that begat (God the Father) loveth Him also that is begat of Him (Christ the Son, and all born again of Him)…For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our FAITH.” (1 John 5:1-5)
To the faithless crowd of selfish sign-seekers Jesus had these chilling words to say: “…I AM the Bread of life; he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth (believes and continues to believe) on Me shall never thirst. BUT I said unto you, That ye also have seen Me, and believe NOT.” (Vs. 35-36)
Christ thereby publicly told this faithless crowd that they were not only lost in time, but without faith to believe in Him and be saved, lost for all Eternity! What a chilling message to hear from the Almighty Lord God.
How therefore can you and I seek to ‘…work the works of God…’ in this generation? Simple: If faith cometh by hearing the Word of God, then we must make sure we spread the Word of God far and near that souls may hear, receive God’s gift of faith, and be forever saved. Go, therefore, and do it!
Thought: Preach the Word, sow faith, reap a harvest of redeemed souls!