Monday, 4 January 2021
John 6:30-31 So they said to Jesus, "Then what sign do You do, that we may see and believe you? What work do You perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"
The people are calling Jesus on His words and His teaching. He has just told them that to do the work of God they should believe in Him. This is actually quite a large claim, so they ask Him for some credentials, some proof, to show that they should believe in Him.
We know from contemporary accounts that there were (and had been) a number of false 'messiah' figures who had arisen in recent years, raising groups of followers in order to throw the Romans out of Israel and restore Jewish sovereignty. None of these had come to anything except the usual rather gruesome Roman punishments for rebels. And no-one wanted to go there!
A belief in Jesus as Messiah would, they thought, inevitaby lead to a battle with the Romans one way or another. It wasn't that that would be a bad thing if you were on the winning side, but you needed some significant assurance that God really was in this before putting your life on the line. Hence the request: prove it. Even Moses produced a sign; well, actually, God provided a sign, they say, but what can you do that is significant enough for us to risk our lives for you?
Do we ask God to prove Himself to us? Ever so many folk do somewhere along their journey to faith. Jesus is usally pretty gracious about it, so long as the request is reasonable; He does have a habit of confirming His call to people to come and follow Him. But what about afterwards? Are we always questioning Him and demanding signs or confirmation when His word is already clear, or when we know perfectly well He is convicting us of some sin or the other, when really we just want to put it off or ignore it?