“They said to him, ‘What must we do to perform the works of God?’ Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.’” (John 6:28-29)
The crowd wanted to know what “works” they needed to do to get right with God. Instead of giving them many works, Jesus told them that the only work that mattered was to believe in Him.
Did the crowds think that Jesus had given them an easier deal going from many works to only one work? If they did, they would soon discover that Jesus’ one work wasn’t just one aspect of their lives: it was everything.
What does it mean to believe in Jesus?
When we believe in Jesus, we commit to loving God, loving our neighbor, forgiving 70×7, turning the other cheek, serving the poor, and feeding the sheep.
When we believe in Jesus, we trust that He has reconciled us to the Father through His grace, and we pledge to share that grace with all people.
When we believe in Jesus, we stand for what He stood for: justice, mercy, fairness, truth, service, and courage; and stand against what He stood against, oppression, prejudice, degradation, greed, exploitation, and meanness.
When we believe in Jesus, we believe in the God Jesus reveals—a God who wants all of His children to be at peace with Him and with each other.
When we believe in Jesus, we seek first God’s Kingdom, and we commit our lives to close the gap between this world as it is and this world as God would have it be.
If the crowd was initially relieved to hear that Jesus didn’t give them many works but only one work—believing in Him—they would’ve soon realized that believing in Jesus included having their wills changed, their hearts surrendered, their minds opened, and their actions transformed.
The one work that Jesus wanted from them is the one work He desires from us. I encourage us to work on that one work. Believing in Him is enough work for this life and the next.
- How and when did you come to have faith in Jesus?
- Like every other relationship, our connection to Jesus takes work, diligence, focus, and discipline. What strengthens and nurtures your faith? What weakens or undermines it?
- Who would you be without your faith? Where would you be without it? What does your faith help you to do? What does it help you to not do?