So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” – John 10:24

After ten chapters in the book of John, it is pretty difficult to understand how anyone could still be confused about Jesus’ identity. By this point, Jesus had healed people in their sight, he had fed the 5000, and his teachings had been so clearly dangerous that they had already started plotting his death. However, this group still assumes that Jesus is speaking in code, so they plead with him to just “tell us plainly.”

I wonder what would have happened if Jesus would have said definitively: “Read my lips… I am the Messiah.” Would they have dropped everything to follow Jesus? Something tells me they wouldn’t… and that something is actually my own experience. There have been many times in my life when I have expressed a similar sentiment to God. I have said things like, “God if you would tell me plainly, then I will share my faith with this person.” Or, “If you just make it clear, then I will follow your plan.” Or back when I was younger, “If you just send a shooting star, then I’ll know that she’s the one for me.”

We are not that different from these Jewish leaders. We too tend to crave certainty and clarity because this is where we feel safe. Let’s face it, deep down, we really don’t like being put in situations where we have to step out in faith. Faith is risky and dangerous. It is full of ambiguity and unknowns. Faith and trust are just unnatural. We long for the clear and the plain… this is where we are most comfortable.

However, Jesus’ call is to join him in the frightening field of faith. He refuses to give us certainty and he is far too nuanced to appease our desire for “plain.” Jesus will only be found when we join him on his adventure of faith.

So, will you join him into the unknown? Let’s be people who stop expecting the plain and start running toward Jesus’ great adventure of faith.

Josh Rose

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