Two Reactions

Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. 

John 11:45-46

The wondrous miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead was the clearest proof that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, the Son of God. Some believed because of this miracle, but some did not. What’s the difference between these two groups?

The simple answer is – faith.

One group had, or was using faith, while the other did not.

Let me begin with a reminder that our faith does not make any of the work of God true as a fact or to us as individuals. Jesus planned to and did raise Lazarus from the dead regardless how well people believed it or not. The work of Jesus is an objective fact. Subjective belief or unbelief does not change this fact. However, our faith allows us to rejoice that Jesus Christ did this work as the Son of God!

The overwhelming evidence presented in the Bible of Who Jesus is does not create faith in someone. In fact, the Bible even states that belief in a fact is not necessarily faith. Consider:

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

James 2:19

If belief was the cause of salvation, then the devils would have saved themselves! 

We know that this is not true. The acknowledgment of a fact does not make it a fact, nor does it affect the condition of the one who believes. Those acting in unbelief were either not using the faith that God gave them or, most likely, they did not possess faith at all.

No one could deny what Jesus did. In fact, the Pharisees even sought to kill Lazarus to hide the fact of what Jesus had done.

Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.

John 12:9-11

These are people that suppress the truth in their sin. This exhibits that they are still in their totally depraved state, dead in sin.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Romans 1:18

The group that went to tattle to the Pharisees most likely were some that either had no faith or were so brainwashed by the Pharisees into obedience that they had ceased to think for themselves even when it hurt them.

Even though the kingdom of God is invisible in terms of an earthly kingdom, it can be both seen and entered into by those who have been born again (John 3). Therefore, we can conclude that those who saw and believed on Jesus were showing clear evidence of the faith that was given to them in regeneration. This group is, no doubt, of the elect family of God, and will be with Jesus forever!

Do you believe on Jesus? Then, rest in hope for your faith and belief did not cause your salvation. You may have doubts and fears that still come into your mind, but your faith points to an objective fact that Jesus died for you!

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