The sixth chapter of John opens up with Jesus doing an amazing miracle. He feeds 5,000 men plus women and children from five small loaves of bread and two fish. Not only is there plenty for all, there are even leftovers. John tells us there were twelve baskets of bread remaining. Later that evening, the miracle of Jesus walking on the water takes place. Amazing!
The next day...
The people knew that the disciples had gone across the Sea of Galilee but they also knew that Jesus had stayed behind, or so they thought. They headed down to the place where they had eaten, expecting to see Jesus and maybe get breakfast? The problem was, Jesus wasn't there. He was on the other side of the Sea of Galilee, at Capernaum.
They are mystified that he is here and inquire how He got there. Rather than answer them Jesus tells them that they want to be with Him because He fed them... not because He had done a miraculous sign. Then He tells them that God wants them to believe in the one He has sent.
Here is their response:
They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do?"
John 6:30 (NLT)
Did you catch what just happened?
These are the very same people who had just been miraculously fed. They even went so far as to admit that they had indeed received bread from Him. Yet they tell Jesus that they will believe in Him if He shows them a miraculous sign.
We beg, we plead with God to do miracles in our own lives. When He does, what are we doing the next day? Are we sharing what God has done with others, spreading the Good News? Are we reminding ourselves of what God has done even as we face new challenges? Or are we also still saying to Jesus, "Show us a miraculous sign if you want if you want us to believe in you. What can you do?"
To me, that is one of the most ironic incidents in the Bible. It is just as Jesus said in the parable of Lazarus at the gate of the Rich man, when the Rich Man ask Abraham to send Lazarus back to warn his brothers Abraham replies, "Even if one were to rise from the dead they will not believe."
I must admit that naturally I tend to be a skeptic. Sales people don't like me very much because if they tell me I am getting a good deal, I am immediately suspicious of them. You could have 57 people say that they absolutely love a product but I am more likely to think they are paid to say that rather than believe they actually love it. I drive my mother crazy because if it's on the internet... LOL... it must be true.
I have often wondered what might have happened if I had not come to know Christ when I was child. I fear that I would have been like these people. Always demanding more proof.
There are people who see dream dreams, see visions, witness amazing miracles, hear voices from heaven, see angels and that sort of thing. That is all well and good but I wonder sometimes what would happen if all of that stopped. Would they still believe? Perhaps but perhaps not. To not see yet believe always requires faith but as this story and others illustrate, seeing does not always produce faith.
Hebrews 11:6 says:
[quote] But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.[/quote]
I think I would rather have faith than see miracles.
I agree 100%.