This post was to initially be about John chapter 10:24-39 and it still will be but as I typed the title it occurred to me just how true that is of everyone and just how unwilling everyone is to have their opinions shaped by what they actually see. This applies not only religiously but to all observations in all relationships. The most glaring of these are political, we see the “works” of our representatives (and in many cases the non-work) and rather than believing what they actually have done we choose to believe their ever flapping gums when they tell us what they are going to do.
Compare this with the passage below. Jesus has been going around giving sight to the blind, feeding thousands, causing the lame to walk, etc. and the Jews ask him if He is the Christ to which He answers, yes (who else could perform such miracles beside the Son of God?), and the Jews reaction is to stone Him.
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me,[a] is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? 35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— 36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” 39 Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.
There is only one question that can be asked in either example….WHY? I think the first example is more easily understood than the second. People believe what they want to believe because they think it will benefit them. (In many cases this delusion can go on for generations which is very odd.) Somehow the cause is removed from the effect. The actual work of the elected officials is somehow ignored while additional promises to fix what they, the politicians, have WORKED to create is believed. While this seems remarkable it points more to the born nature of man than it does to anything else.
This does not seem to be the case with the Jews in our story (before anyone goes crazy this has nothing to do with antisemitism the Jews mentioned here just happen to be a key part of the story). There is no indication that the Jews mentioned here are the Pharisees who feared their power was threatened by Jesus, these seem your everyday people of whom, I know, it was forbidden to even mention the name of God but so what? They ask Him a question and He answers it. They have seen the many miracles and heard His teaching. They are in no way threatened, they are in no way facing loss and they are, in fact, being told of the way to eternal bliss, quite a promise, so why do they want to stone Him?
The reactions to the “works” in the two stories contradict each other. How does one explain that?
And if you have trouble explaining that….EXPLAIN THIS — How is it that 100 years after The Bolshevik Revolution there are still people saying the idea of socialism wasn’t so bad?
British MEP Daniel Hannan exposes the ignorance of this line of thinking… in 100 seconds.
Still… what are historical facts worth when you have virtue to signal!?