Third Sunday in Lent, March 4, 2018
John, in Sunday’s Gospel, tells us: “But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well.”
Here we have, in John’s Gospel, the pre-existent Christ, who was there at the beginning when God created the world, telling us about his intimate knowledge of human nature. Reflecting on this, we might ask ourselves why many of the people we encounter in the gospels did not believe in Jesus as having come from God.
John’s gospel emphasizes signs. The first sign in John’s Gospel was at Cana where “he (Jesus) revealed his glory and his disciples believed in him.” (Jn. 2:11) In today’s gospel, John tells us that “many believed in his name, for they could see the signs he was performing.”
Jesus, however, was wary of their belief because he knew human nature. The Gospel says they believed but was their belief only in Jesus as a wonder worker but not as the Messiah? Was their faith not strong enough?
It would appear that Jesus’ signs were not enough to convince people of who he really was. The late Biblical scholar Raymond E. Brown adds, “But he (Jesus) did not trust their faith because it stopped at the miraculous aspect of the sign and did not perceive what was signified.” (Introduction to the New Testament,” p. 341)
We also hear Jesus in John 6:63-64 say: “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” And John tells us that many of Jesus’ disciples left him.
What would it take then to bring people to belief? Paul, in 1 Cor. 1:22-23 says, “Whereas Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, we proclaim Christ crucified …”
Perhaps, then, as we journey through this Lenten season, we can reflect on what belief means to us.
Click the links below to view the Liturgical Readings for each day of the week.
- Readings for Sunday, March 4, 2018, Year A
- Readings for Sunday, March 4, 2018, Year B
- Readings for Monday, March 5, 2018
- Readings for Tuesday, March 6, 2018
- Readings Wednesday, March 7, 2018
- Readings for Thursday, March 8, 2018
- Readings for Friday, March 9, 2018
- Readings for Saturday, March 10, 2018