The Simplest Thing

Matthew 21:28–32, John 6:28–36 (read online ⧉)

It’s too easy. What do I have to do? There must be something that has to be done to earn my way. Perhaps I need to be wealthy. Perhaps I have to be powerful. Perhaps I to take a series of convoluted steps, and of course start from zero if I mess up.

Nope, it doesn’t work that way. Whew! Yet, for some reason, the simplest way oddly seems to be the hardest.

Jesus called on people to believe. He pointed to John the Baptist, first. John the Baptist came with a message of righteousness and repentance. That was always part of God’s call to those he originally called…the Israelites. The Law effectively revolved around a constant cycle of repentance and restoration to righteousness. The Israelites (now the remnant) didn’t understand and didn’t respond to God’s messenger. It was the people that were not “in” that responded. It was the ones who were “outcasts” who responded to the message.

When confronted by Jesus, the people asked what they had to do to receive salvation. While Jesus said, “believe,” the parable the accompanied that was about doing the will of God, even when that’s not the desire, and not telling God that it will be done, and then going one’s own way. Belief without action ends up being like the son who said he would do but didn’t. The son who said no, but did still missed the father’s heart.

Actions speak louder than words. Actions, however, should be motivated by belief.

1) What is the hardest thing you’ve had to believe? What made it hard?

2) What action has been the hardest to do? Why?

3) Which requires greater commitment, belief or action? Why?

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