Read John 12
So often I hear of people looking for miracles. We desire to see the supernatural amidst the ordinary. Even beyond miracles we see people exploring the mystical and magical. I believe this is the living out of Ecclesiastes 3 where it says that “God has set eternity in the hearts of man” . We all have a longing for a restored relationship with Creator God, Father God. We know instinctively that we were made for, created for more.
In John 12 we see the draw of the sign, the miracle. The crowds had witnessed and heard of Jesus’ raising Lazarus from the dead and we find ourself in a celebrity scene. Jesus came to Bethany, and there was a crowd. Verse 9 tells us that “they came not only on account of him (Jesus) but also to see Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead”. You better believe the crowds clamored to see the man that was wrapped in grave clothes and in the tomb four days now reclining at a feast laughing with the man who had given him life again.
Jesus always knows the motives of our heart and this time isn’t any different. Verse 12 finds us with the same crowd from the feast now at the triumphal entry.
“The next day the large crowd that had been at the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him crying ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!’”
The crowd was following the signs, the works of Jesus instead of the person of Jesus. They were thinking salvation but they weren’t thinking the kind of salvation that Jesus had come to give. Some were maybe hoping for a miracle for their situation. Some were imagining a political take over. Some an army leader. None of the crowd, not even the disciples, understood the eternal perspective of Jesus coming to die so that all men may get what is undeserved (grace) which is eternal life and forgiveness of sins.
“The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign” verse 18
I see myself in the crowd. Clamoring for what Jesus can give me to meet my temporal, perceived needs. Not having the eyesight to see into eternity and realize that all I do here has a forever impact. That this life is short compared to life forever in heaven. That what we have to live for as Christ Followers and Grace Bathers is so much more than the temporary pleasures of this broken and fallen world. I don’t want to be among the crowds following Jesus for a sign, I want to be at his feet bathing him in perfume, wiping his toes with my hair, experiencing my love, my Savior, my God in an intimate, personal way every day.
The crowd continued to follow Christ looking for another sign, craving the drama, following the celebrity. Yet so many of them still did not believe.
“Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him.” verse 37
This is true today as well. There will always be people among us who have seen the supernatural, seen God work over and over again and yet they still remain unbelieving and dissatisfied grasping for the next bit of supernatural, not choosing to walk by faith but vainly looking for more things they can see to prove Jesus is who he says he is and will do what he says he will do.
Then there is the camp of believers we see in verse 42. They believe but they keep it to themselves because,
“…they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.”
Verses like this one reverberate through my heart and mind because people pleasing is a battle I constantly fight and it is an epidemic in our society today. Who am I living to please? Who are you living to please? We can’t live to please both man and God, we have to make a choice.
The question for us today is, where do we find ourselves? Am I in the crowd of unbelievers looking for a sign? Do I ever find myself living for what Christ can do for me, for the drama, the feeling and the emotion? We need to search our hearts today and ask ourselves, do I follow Jesus for what I want him to do for me or in gratitude and humility over what he has already done and who he is to me in my life right now? Or am I in the camp of true believers who are still living for man’s glory above God’s. Do I stop from following Christ with abandon because my eyes are still set on the temporary things of this life? Am I so in love with the things of this world and man’s approval that I am missing God’s best for my life?
As we go about our days today I pray that we will allow the Holy Spirit to enter into every crevice of our hearts and search our motives. When we surrender and confess freedom and light enter into our hidden places. There is only bondage in living for emotion and man’s approval allows the intimate Savior to do the work in you that he desires, there is grace upon grace for you and I as we surrender today.
- In what ways do you see people following a sign instead of surrendering to a Savior? Have you seen this in your own life?
- Are you allowing the opinions of man to shape how you live your days? Will you talk to Jesus about that today?
- Write out all the ways God has worked the miraculous in your life and meditate on the list today, praising him for how he has worked in and through you.
Steph is a mom to four girls and wife to one very supportive man. She is the Executive Director of Stories Foundation and is passionate about fighting for freedom both spiritual and physical. Her days consist of car pooling, ministry, parenting and lots of coffee.