The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 106

“ Believe in me” (John 14:1)

The smallest words, the most concise phrases and the shortest and simplest statements are often the most powerful. Long-winded, scholarly pronouncements can confuse rather than enthuse the listener to search further. Here we have three words spoken by Jesus. They are the very essence or nucleus of the Christian faith.

We all know of the power of the atomic bomb. The atom is unable to be seen except under a powerful microscope. It is made up of even smaller elements (neutrons, protons). But in spite of its size, it is capable of unleashing tremendous energy on being split. This power is unleashed by a series of chain reactions, which are set in motion by the splitting of the atom. Perhaps you are getting some sense of where I am heading about these three words that Jesus spoke!

Now, let me take you a step further. We know that the world has advanced from atomic to nuclear energy. Both are being harnessed for man’s benefit. However, in seeking to tap into them, man has to be careful in the correct handling of the source, or the results could be devastating. So it is with these words that Jesus spoke. Unpack them with a heart that is seeking God and they will be your strength and deliverance; but approach them with scorn and disdain and they will be your stumbling block or even ruination.

So, how do we unpack them? My answer is with care! Let me explain. When Jesus said we must believe in him, he was saying that we must see him as the proper object and focus of our faith. We are to believe that Jesus, rather than anyone or anything else, is the one we need and the one who has the answers for our lives both in this life and in eternity.

Lots of people have faith. But the bible says that’s not enough. Faith must be rightly focused. It must focus and rest in Jesus Christ. Too many people have faith in faith. I call that a misplaced faith. You can have a lot of faith, but if you place it in a ‘quack’ rather than in a skilled surgeon, it will only make matters worse. The important thing is not whether the faith placed is shaky or powerful, or whether it is great or small, but its direction! Get the drift?

Paul said, “I know whom I have believed” (2 Tim.1: 12) Notice he did not say ‘what I believe’. It’s not that he didn’t have some ‘whats’ to believe about. But he had his priorities right. If we are to harness the power of the believer’s life, then we too must pursue the ‘whom’ before the ‘what’ of the ‘belief atom’. Then everything else will fall into place. “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John. 15:5).

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues