Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Why Believe in Jesus

All references in John's gospel on why people believe
Taken from here:

* John the Baptist "came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him" (1:7)
* Jesus revealed God (1:18)
* Jesus is revealed because of John's baptism of people (1:31) and by the Spirit descending and remaining on him (1:33)
* Nathanael believed because Jesus said "I saw you under the fig tree" (1:50)
* Disciples believed because of the miracle at Cana (2:11)
* When Jesus was risen they believed "the Scripture AND the word that Jesus had spoken" (2:22)
* Many believed in Jesus when they saw his miracles (2:23)
* He who believes Jesus agrees God is true (3:33)
* Samaritans believed because of the testimony of the Samaritan woman at the well that he knew her past (4:39)
* Then the Samaritans believed because they heard Jesus for themselves (4:41-42)
* Jesus criticises the official at Capernaum for only believing if he sees a sign (4:48), but then believes his word alone (4:50) and then believes again when he sees evidence of the miracle (4:53)
* the person who believes Jesus' word and the Father's testimony has eternal life (5:24)
* John the Baptist is a testimony to Jesus (5:32). But he relativises that as man's testimony, which he appeals to only so people will be saved (5:34). A greater testimony comes from the Father who testifies to who Jesus is by the miracles he gave to Jesus (5:36) and the OT (5:39). To have the Father's word abiding in you means you will believe Jesus (5:38)
* You can't believe if you seek glory from men rather than God (5:44)
* Believing Moses and believing Jesus are inseparable (5:46-47)
* Jesus implies he is his own miracle proving his identity. He is the equivalent of both the manna and Moses. Believing he is the food and eating of him proves he is the food by satisfying. (6:30-40)
* Peter says that they believed and so came to know that Jesus was the Holy One of God (6:69)
* If anyone wishes to obey God then he will know Jesus is from God (7:17)
* People believe Jesus because of the number of miracles he performs (7:31)
* Jesus says that there are two testimonies to who he is. The Father and himself. If you know Jesus you will know the Father (8:14-19)
* People will know who Jesus is when he is crucified (8:28)
* People believe in Jesus because of his teaching (8:30) but Jesus says that they will only "know the truth" if they "abide" in his word (8:31)
* The Jews ought to believe because he tells the truth (8:46), but actually they don't believe exactly because he tells them the truth (8:45)
* The healed blind man is astonished that the miracle of his healing is not sufficient proof for the Pharisees because God only hears his worshippers (9:30).
* People listen to Jesus because as his flock they know him as their good shepherd (10:4-27).
* The works of the Father that Jesus does bear witness to him (10:25), and people don't believe them because they are not part of his flock (10:26). He encourages them to believe on account of either his words or the miracles (10:38).
* People believe John the Baptist's testimony about Jesus, despite John the Baptist performing no miracles (10:41-42)
* If Martha believes Jesus promises her she will see the glory of God (11:40).
* Jesus prays aloud for the raising of Lazarus so that people will believe in him (11:42).
* Many people believe because of Lazarus (12:10-11)
* Some people don't believe despite seeing the miracles (12:37)
* People don't believe because God has blinded them (12:4)
* Belief in Jesus, is primarily belief in the Father (12:44)
* Jesus predicts Judas' betrayal so that when it happens the disciples will believe in him (13:19)
* People will know Jesus' disciples are his disciples by their love for one another (13:35)
* Jesus asks the disciples to believe him, or believe on account of the miracles (14:11)
* Jesus will make himself to his disciples and not the whole world by sending the Spirit for the Trinity to live in the person who loves Jesus and keeps his word (14:23)
* Jesus predicts his ascension and the sending of the Spirit so that when it happens the disciples will believe (14:29)
* Jesus obeys the Father (by dying?) so that the world will know that he loves the Father (14:31).
* The disciples claim to believe Jesus on the basis of his non-figurative teaching (16:29-30), despite Jesus saying the his teaching is figurative at that time (16:25), although it won't be when he sends the Spirit. Jesus doubts that they really believe already though (16:31).
* The disciples came to know that Jesus is of the Father because of his words (17:6-8)
* People will come to believe through the Apostles speech and by their unity (17:20-21).
* John claims that he has seen the events and knows they are true so his readers should believe on his testimony (19:35).
* Thomas doesn't believe on the testimony of the other disciples (20:25), but believes when he sees the risen Christ (20:28). However, Jesus implies that he should have believed on the disciples' testimony alone, and that others who believe without seeing are blessed (20:29).
* John explains that he recounts the miracles of Jesus so that his readers may believe (20:31).

Some reflections:

* Belief in the Father and the OT is inseparable from belief in Jesus.
* The testimony of John and the Samaritan woman is of secondary importance to the testimony of Jesus to himself and the testimony of the Father in miracles and the OT. But it is valid.
* Belief, obedience and humble searching after God are inseparable.
* Believing is only the beginning. In some cases knowledge of Jesus as the Holy One of God, and seeing the glory of God comes later. Also belief on the basis of testimony of other men, or of miracles, can grow into belief on the basis of Jesus' own words.
* It is implied that people can only fully know who Jesus is after his death and resurrection and the sending of the Spirit.
* Belief in Jesus is not an end in itself but should lead to belief in the Father.
* Belief is dependant on supernatural work of opening blind eyes, and only belongs to the elect.
* The disciples loving unity and spoken testimony is how people are expected to believe after Jesus has ascended.

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