Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:29 (NLT)
On what would I stake my
Language can be a messy thing and there are times when the English translation of the original Greek manuscripts of Jesus’ story can’t quite communicate the depth of meaning in a word. We hear the word “believe” and we think “how easy is that? I believe in a lot of things. Believing in Jesus is a no-brainer. He did great things and had great teachings. I absolutely believe.”
As Jesus sat in the teaching place on the shores of Galilee and talked about the painful death He would soon experience, the “believing” He was asking of His followers was more than the casual mental affirmation we think of today. If that had been true then the entire throng of people would have hoisted Him on their shoulders and carried Him off to Jerusalem to make Him their King. But, when the crowd in today’s chapter heard Jesus ask them to believe, they walked away.
It was one thing to follow Jesus’ traveling show, watch miracles, and eat free fish sandwiches on the beach. Free food and entertainment will get you huge crowds. When Jesus got serious, however, started talking about serious life and death commitment and asked the crowd to stake their lives on Him the crowds thinned out. Even Jesus’ closest twelve disciples questioned their commitment.
When Jesus asks me to believe He’s asking me to cleave to Him, to rely on Him, to place my life in His hands, and bet my life on the notion that He is exactly who He says He is: God made flesh who came to earth to die as a sacrifice for the sins of the world and who was raised back to life.
It’s easy to mentally agree that this is true, but will I stake my life on it?