They Believed Both

They Believed Both

31 July 2019

They Believed Both
Jim Stephens

Reading: Isaiah 63-64; Psalm 107; John 2

18 But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.” 19 “All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 “What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?” 21 But when Jesus said “this temple,” he meant his own body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said. (John 2:18-22 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 and 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. 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 face the same challenges! When we encounter demonstrations of power, and apparent “moves of God’s Spirit,” we must wrestle with how these things align with the Scriptures we believe, and the traditional ways we have learned to interpret the Scriptures. When we are faced with delays, disappointments, and an experience that does not seem to make sense in light of what we believe about God, we must wrestle with the seeming contradiction between his revelation and our present reality!

We must decide – and this is never easy – if we will believe in “either-or” mode or in “both-and” mode. Will you allow God to stretch your believing capacity so you won’t be stuck in “either-or” mode but will grow into a “both-and” believer?


Father, Please help me to develop and live a faith that is forged in the blacksmith shop of study and prayer, enriched by dialog with fellow disciples, and made experientially real by the daily practice of trusting obedience. 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.

Back to Articles...