Throughout the Gospel readings during Lent, Jesus’ claims about himself get more and more clear, and the people’s responses to those claims get more and more clear, too. Some people wanted to give their lives to him; some people wanted to kill him. You see, the person of Jesus doesn’t allow for an in-between, indifferent response. When you say the name “Jesus” in a conversation, it’s like dropping a big bomb. His presence demands a verdict from our hearts.
The response God wants from us is the response of faith. Faith is our response of trust to what God revealed. Faith isn’t earned by learning facts because the end goal of faith is not about getting an A grade. Faith is a relationship you enter into – not unlike my relationship with my wife. When we were dating, I could learn all the facts I wanted, but eventually I had to make a decision to marry her.
God is inviting us to make a decision to give our lives to Him, as He’s given His life to us. If you lack faith, do what the man in the Gospel did when he fell to his knees in front of Jesus. He said, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.” At the end of the day, you can do things to prepare the way for that gift, but it is a gift. Ask for it.
The Jews again picked up rocks to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy. You, a man, are making yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’? If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came, and scripture cannot be set aside, can you say that the one whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world blasphemes because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize [and understand] that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” They tried again to arrest him; but he escaped from their power. He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained. Many came to him and said, “John performed no sign, but everything John said about this man was true.” And many there began to believe in him. (John 10:31-42, NAB from the USCCB)