“So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.’” vs. 24
As Jesus’ ministry gathered momentum it was not unusual for some people to wonder whether he was the Messiah. Expectation had been running hot among some segments of the population, especially those who were chafing under the oppressive Roman rule. But the gospels report that Jesus himself was secretive and that he never declared himself openly. After his resurrection his followers of course declared him the Messiah but the question continued to be a point of contention in the Jewish community. John was of course a part of the Messianic community and he had no doubts. In fact he wrote a whole gospel to make his position clear…the Jesus of John is every bit a messianic figure. But many refused to believe…Jesus just didn’t meet expectations, and for later Jews the crucifixion was a massive stumbling block. In this passage we’re told that some didn’t believe because they lacked a relationship with Jesus…they didn’t belong to his sheep. That sort of thing continues to be true…it’s still tough to accept that Jesus was the Messiah, the incarnation of God in the flesh. Either we believe it or we don’t. The good news is that his presence doesn’t depend on us! Even unbelievers can be channels of the Messiah for the good of the world!
Thought for the Day: How do I know Jesus really was the Messiah?