So the Jews gathered round him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe.” –John 10:19-42
Most of us don’t handle suspense all that well. We don’t like surprises. We don’t like to wait; we don’t like to be left guessing. We want answers, and we want them NOW!
The same seemed to be true for those Jews who had seen Jesus and followed Him. Some thought He was possessed by a demon, and that the works He did were done by the power of evil. Others just weren’t sure what to think about Him. So, they asked Him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
The strange thing is that Jesus had been telling them plainly, over and over again. He had worked signs in their midst. He had proclaimed the kingdom of God with authority. He had been upfront about who He was and why He came. And yet, they would not believe. That’s the reality of our sinful humanity. Even after hearing and seeing, there are those who will not believe.
There is a certain suspense building as we draw near to Holy Week. Thankfully, it is an excitement, an enthusiasm, rather than a frustration, because we know how it all turns out. We are not waiting to see whether Jesus will go to the cross, or raise an army and defeat His Roman captors. We have been told who Jesus is, and what would happen to Him and why. There is no suspense, other than the anticipation of finally making it through Lent and getting to the culmination of our Lenten journey.
But still, there is the question of belief. Do you believe? Do you believe that Jesus is Son of God and Son of Man? Do you believe that Jesus is God incarnate—in the flesh? Do you believe that Jesus Christ was raised from death, literally, bodily? We have been told. Now, do we believe?
Lord our God, help thou our unbelief! As we walk again with Jesus on the way of the cross, convict us and convince us. Give us believing hearts; in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Taken from Wendel, David, From Ashes to Easter, Ashes Lenten Devotional Booklet, North American Lutheran Church.