by Brian Kelly
“What must we do,” the people said to Jesus, “to be doing the works of God?”
What they wanted from Jesus was a list. A list of some few good works that they could do. Do to their credit. That would earn them favor with God.
For they were not Good. Not in a strict Legalistic sense. From sunrise to sunfall they had fields to work, livestock to tend…They ate their bread by the sweat of their faces. But they were not Bad either. They were decent enough. Led decent enough lives. And were decent enough to those decent to them. They were the People of the Land, neither Good nor Bad.
Now the Bad would be cut off in the Age to Come. But the Good would enjoy Long life and many blessings. So what the People were asking Jesus for was what men have Always asked for: works that they could satisfy—one by one—as they went along their way…And Not need trouble about again.
“The work (singular) of God,” Jesus said to them, “is this: Believe in Him.”
Like their question, the answer was not new: There are no works, plural. For there is No putting God in one’s debt. Works has it twisted downside Up. As Cain had it.
How is Believing in God, in any real sense of the word, work?
What believing does Not mean is Acknowledging God exists. That there Is a God, that God Is real, is a given.
What it does mean is trusting. Trusting in His Name, His Character. Trusting as true All that He Is. And acting, living, true to that. Just as we trust that one and one is two, and so solve (that is, act) true to this. That two and one is three, two and two four, and three from four one, we can depend on…Because One and one Is two. Our trust in this principle is Firm. And it could Only be by Not believing in it, that we would solve—Act—contrary to it.
Believing is faith acted out. For faith, trust, is a thing that is done. Not something just talked about.
Now we cannot Trust in one whom we do not know. Only by having a close relationship, can we come to really know another. And to Believe in God we must Know Him. And that means a relationship. A close one.
This was Not what the people wanted to hear. Not this. Not Relationship. They asked Jesus what they must do. They wanted works. Not a way of life. Not God in every area of it. What they wanted was Religion…Their way.
Jesus’ answer to them was Not religion but Relationship. This has Always been the answer, for it has Always been about a Close relationship.
To believe in God, Jesus said, is the Work of God. That is, this is His work. And what is His, is also ours. As God is true to Himself, true to His Character in All that He does, so we are to be true to His Character in all that we do.
At the very heart of God’s Character is Love. Love itself. And love gives of the self—all of the self—fully and beautifully. And never seeks for another Anything but what is good…The highest good…
For our works to be Good works, they must be the Result of, and Not in place of, the one True work: Believing in God…
A Work that knows no end.