Tell us plainly

"If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly." (John 10:24)

Have you ever been having a conversation with someone who's trying to beat around the bush? I don't know that there are many things that annoy me more than that. Just tell me what you want to tell me, don't try to hide it. Sometimes I will ask someone "What's the real question here?" when they're trying to ask me something awkward. Oh, and one of my biggest pet peeves is when I've done something to hurt someone, and when I ask what I've done they reply "You should know what you did!" I don't, otherwise I wouldn't have asked. I wish people would tell me plainly sometimes.

Even more so, I wish Jesus would tell us more plainly what he's working on in our lives! Especially in this season, I feel like my prayers are joining with those in our high school ministry who are trying to sort out which college to go to, what to major in, how to chart the path ahead. Jesus, just tell me plainly what you're up to.

The folks around Jesus in this morning's lectionary reading (John 10:19-42) want the same thing. There have been some rumors floating around that Jesus is the Messiah, the long awaited king who would liberate the Jewish people. Only, Jesus doesn't exactly match the description the Jewish people had in their heads about the Messiah. He kind of fits the part, but he kind of doesn't. Who is this guy? They want him to just tell them plainly.

Jesus has an interesting response. He reminds them that he has already been telling them who he is, but in a way that they just can't understand yet. He's done the signs and wonders that the Messiah would do. He's lived up to the prophesies about the Messiah. In his mind, he feels like he communicated. And then at the end of his discussion he says something really interesting:

"If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father." (John 10:37-38) In other words, if you can't figure out what Jesus is up to, pay attention to what he's doing. Pay attention to the works Jesus is doing in your life.

This takes a certain level of awareness that we might not carry with us from day to day. We have to pay attention to the ways Jesus is moving and acting in our lives, and they may not always be big huge signs and wonders. It might be the way a neighbor met us. It might be the sun breaking through the rainy clouds (though it doesn't look like it today). It might be a time of silent prayer. However Jesus is at work in our lives, if we can't quite hear from Him directly, Jesus invites us to pay attention to what he's doing.

So today, open your eyes just a little bit wider. Pay a little closer attention. See what Jesus is at work in your life doing!

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