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They Believed Both

They Believed Both

18 December 2009

Scripture:

After he was raised from the dead, the disciples remembered that he had said this. And they believed both Jesus and the Scriptures. (John 2:22 NLT)

The Pharisees and the Jewish leaders believed the Scriptures, but Jesus didn’t speak and act in line with their expectations so they didn’t believe Jesus. They didn’t believe his words, they didn’t accept his miracles as validation of his identity as the Messiah. They were in “either-or” mode.

Jesus’ disciples spent three years trying to align their thinking and expectations with the Scriptures they knew and the reality of Jesus they saw and experienced. Finally, after his crucifixion and resurrection, it all came together for them and they believed both Jesus and the Scriptures. They became “both-and” believers.

We still face the same challenges today. We must decide – and this is never easy – if we will believe in “either-or” mode or in “both-and” mode.

When we are faced with experiential faith, with demonstrations of power, with apparent “moves of God’s Spirit” we must wrestle with alignment of the Scriptures we believe, the traditional ways we have accepted and become comfortable with, and the new and challenging and different experience.

When we face challenges to our faith – when our prayers go unanswered, when needs go unmet, when bad things happen and we claim the promises of scripture, take a firm stand in faith, and still don’t experience the breakthrough – we must decide if we believe both Jesus and the scriptures.

The simple child-like faith in which we begin our journey is challenged by things we learn, things we experience, opinions of others, disappointments of life. It seems to get so complicated. Hold on, hold steady, don’t panic. Your simple faith may seem to be dying at times, but remember there is a resurrection on the other side of the cross!

Prayer:

Father, please help me to receive both wisdom and revelation and to develop and live a faith that is forged in the blacksmith shop of study, prayer, dialog, and experience. I don’t want to miss the “both-and” by being stuck in “either-or” mode. Help me and those I love and influence to believe both Jesus and the Scriptures. Amen.

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