You refuse to come to me to have life.

The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his form, and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent. “You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life. -John 5:36-40 NRSV

I sometimes wonder how learned and intelligent people such as the Scribes, the Pharisees and the Sadducees missed it so badly. These purportedly had a keen understanding of the Hebrew scriptures yet did not recognize God himself when he came to them. It speaks to me of how things like religious pride and self-righteousness can spiritually blind us. And as Jesus puts it, this unbelief keeps the true and living Word of God from living within.

In my view there is not a lack of evidence that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. I cannot envision a greater divine representation than the image of God that we see in the Jesus that is described in the gospel accounts. He is matchless. His teachings, compassion and miracles stand alone in history. Yet it is not rationality that is at issue but a stern refusal to believe. Like those religious Jews, many today are blinded by their refusal to see the obvious.

We come to you Lord Jesus. You have the words of life. We open our hearts to believe and to hear your voice.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the Gospel of John.

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