“Then they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.'” John 6:28-29
I wonder if anyone in the crowd had a snarky comeback for Jesus’ words. The work of God — to believe? Not to worship in Jerusalem as often as possible, or to give food to everyone who asks, or to make sure to pay Cesar’s taxes? Not to bind His words on hands or make sure the house is free of idols? Really, the work of God is to… believe?
To believe in Him whom He sent. To believe in Jesus, the Son of God sent from Heaven. It seems too simple, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t the work of the holy God be something much bigger, much grander, maybe even more meaningful?
Jesus knew exactly what He was saying. If we want to work the works of God, we must believe in Jesus Himself. Jesus is the Life Giver. He’s the Miracle Worker, the One who came to Earth in humility to save us. He is the One who makes possible the impossible.
When we read through the gospels, we see His life-giving and miracles and salvation. And when we believe in Him, we believe in all that He is and all that He does. Doesn’t sound like work, though, does it? But it is. Our faith in Him is the basis for life.
As we believe in Him, we can do everything else. Believing in Him is what allows us to worship Him. Believing in Him is what propels us to be servanthearted in all situations. Believing in Him is what gives us grace to love unconditionally. Can we worship Him without first believing in Him? Can we be servanthearted or unconditionally loving in all situations without first believing in Him? No, we can’t.
Believing in Him brings people to leave their homes and spend their lives serving another people group in another culture. It’s what causes a man to dedicate his life to preaching the Truth of the Gospel. It forms the desire in a mother to be patient and gentle when her children act out. It inspires others to share their testimonies in hopes of one person coming to know Jesus’ love. It leads young people to start businesses that help the poor and defend the needy. Belief in Jesus Christ is the work of God.
It’s simple, yet so profound. Do you want to do the works of God? Then first believe in Him whom He sent.