In John chapter 2, after Jesus had turned the water into wine at the wedding feast, verse 11 says, "This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him." Then, after discussing with the Jews in Jerusalem concerning destroying this temple and He would raise it up in three days, Jesus said in verse 21 that "He was speaking of the temple of His body." Verse 22 says, "When therefore He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had spoken."
What is the difference between the first believing and the second? First, in verse 11, they believed in Him and the signs and miracles He performed. Second, in verses 19-22, they believed in Jesus Christ as the Risen Lord who had conquered death, hell, and the grave. Jesus was no longer just a miracle working man, the one of their first belief, but now He is the Risen Son of God, able to save their souls.
The disciples had seen Him turn water into wine, walk on water, feed the thousands, raise Lazareth from the dead, heal the sick, and cast out demons. Yet, all of this believing in a miracle performing man was not enough to help them stand up and profess Jesus at the time of His crucifixion, for they all denied Him. In verses 23-25 of John 2, it says, "Many believed in His name, when they saw the miracles which He did. But Jesus on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need any one to bear witness concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man."
Jesus knew the disciples would deny Him and as He prepared them for His death, burial, and resurrection, He told them so. In Matthew 26:31, Jesus said to them, "You will all fall away because of me this night." Peter, as did all the other disciples, answered Jesus saying they would never fall away. Jesus knowing they would, told Peter in Matthew 26:34, "Truly I say to you that this very night, before a cock crows, you shall deny me three times." We know that Peter and all the other disciples denied Him that night. They all had to deny Him, for they only believed in the Jesus of signs and miracles. They did not yet believe in the Jesus who would conquer the grave (physical death), hell (evil), and death (spiritual death).
When the disciples met the Risen Lord, truly now they believed in Jesus Christ and His finished work. Jesus was no longer just a miracle working man, the one of their first belief, but now He is the Risen Son of God. This is why they faced hardships and death without fear, because no power on earth would keep them from their relationship with Christ. He said they, too, would conquer death. Without this belief, you will also deny Him when your faith is challenged just as the disciples did. May we fully comprehend and believe that we are free from the power and fear of death through Jesus Christ who defeated death for us so that we might have eternal life.
Author: Syd Gilzow
Date: July 3, 2020, 11:10 a.m.