Satisfied: Is Seeing Really Believing?

In today's world, with computer-generated images and photo editing applications, seeing is no longer believing. But in Jesus’ day there was no photoshopping. When we look back into the Old Testament, the children of Israel literally saw God take them out of Egypt through the use of 10 plagues, then they saw the parting of the Red Sea. They saw, witnessed, and participated in these events, and yet, there was unbelief. As we read the Gospel of John, remember that John was an eye-witness of what we are reading. The Jews also saw Jesus’ miraculous works, yet they didn’t believe it.

The Sabbath

In this section of the book of John, we are made aware that Jerusalem was a walled city with many gates. By one of those gates, the Sheep Gate, there was a multitude of people who were waiting to be healed. Jesus asked one man, who had been sick for 38 years, if he wanted to be healed. Jesus told him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” That moment is when the man was healed. He got up and carried his mat. Instead of giving joy and praise to God, the Jewish leaders reprimanded him and asked who told him to do this.

Keep in mind that the religious leaders of the day had made 39 addendums to the 4th Commandment (the Commandment to keep the Sabbath sacred). Breaking the Sabbath was punishable by death. However, Jesus didn’t violate the Sabbath; instead, He had been healing on the sabbath. But the religious leaders couldn’t see past their rules and addendums to the true miracle that had taken place.

The enemy of faith is a hardened heart of disbelief. This will rob you of being satisfied.

The Evidence of Who Jesus Is

The purpose of this gospel, as told in John 20:30-31, is so "that you may believe" and "that by believing you might have eternal life." John gives us 4 specific pieces of evidence that Jesus is the Christ.

Evidence #1 - His Miracles (John 5:16-29)

Jesus healed by His spoken word. This sparked the beginning of Jesus' persecution from the Jews. The Jews were pursuing Jesus like a lion pursues its prey. They were pursuing Him to stop His message.

Evidence #2 - His Claims (John 5:17)

Jesus declared a unique relationship with God by calling Him His Father. The first time Jesus made this claim was when He was cleansing the temple. The Jews knew exactly what He was saying. Jesus also said that the Father was working and that He also was working. The grammar points that this is a linear action meaning that the Father was working, even now, through the Sabbath. And since there is a special relationship between Jesus and the Father, Jesus was also working through the Sabbath.

The Jews sought all the more to kill Him because He claimed that He was the Son of God, and He broke the Sabbath.

Evidence #3 - His Power (John 5:21)

The Son gives life to whom He wishes. Just as the Father does, the Son does in like manner.

Who else can do the works of God in the same way? Jesus claimed to have this kind of power over everyone. He, being the Son of God, will do even greater works than these so that men may marvel. He claimed He will do things greater than what we have seen God do.

But don’t get lost marveling on the miracle; it is Jesus’ power and greatness that we are to see and ponder. These things are to draw us to belief.

Evidence #4 - His Authority (John 5:22-30)

“For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son just as they honor the Father. The one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” Jesus has the final say.

Denying Christ is denying the Father who sent Him. Focus on the words “just as” and “even so” - noting that we are to see Jesus with the same authority as the Father. We need to know that Jesus has life in Himself. He has authority over the resurrection. All who are in the tombs will come forth. Those who did good deeds to a resurrection of life, and those who did evil deeds to a resurrection of judgement. Good deeds are evidence of our faith, and evil deeds are evidence of disbelief.

In conclusion, the fact that Jesus Christ is the Son of God has been evidenced in this section. It’s all been laid out for you, His miracles, His claims, His power and His authority. What more do you need to believe?

Application Points

  • For 40 years, God loathed the people of Israel because of their unbelief in the wilderness.
  • Look at your deeds. Do they point to a heart of belief? If you do not believe that Jesus is the Christ, you do not have life. You are spiritually dead. Having a surface understanding will not give you true life.
  • Are you allowing your heart to be hardened? If you want to have a heart that is satisfied, you must allow the evidence to lead you to a heart of belief.
  • After looking at the authority and power of Jesus presented in the Bible, are you ready to believe on Him? By believing in Him, you can have eternal life in His name.

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore:
  • John 1:1-5 - Jesus is the life and the light of men.
  • Psalm 95:8-11 - Jehovah God’s call for us to not harden our hearts and to not be a people whose hearts go astray.
A Hymn to Encourage: “Satisfied” by Clara T. Williams from Painesville, Ohio

All my life I had a longing
For a drink from some clear spring,
That I hoped would quench the burning
Of the thirst I felt within.

Hallelujah! I have found Him
Whom my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies my longings,
Through His blood I now am saved.

Feeding on the husks around me,
Till my strength was almost gone,
Longed my soul for something better,
Only still to hunger on.

Poor I was, and sought for riches,
Something that would satisfy,
But the dust I gathered round me
Only mocked my soul’s sad cry.

Well of water, ever springing,
Bread of life so rich and free,
Untold wealth that never faileth,
My Redeemer is to me.

Hallelujah! I have found Him
Whom my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies my longings,
Through His blood I now am saved.

Topic tags: faith, sabbath, Jesus Christ