Day 2

Glory on Display

from the John reading plan


John 2:1-25, Psalm 104:14-15, 1 Peter 4:11

BY Guest Writer

Text: John 2:1-25, Psalm 104:14-15, 1 Peter 4:11

I have always wondered why Jesus gave permission to not believe on account of Himself alone. After all, wasn’t it He, who claimed to be the way, the truth, and the life? That no man comes to the Father except through the Son? (John 14:6). Why then, did Jesus Himself say, “If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works” (John 10:37,38). Even if, Jesus said. Even if you cannot believe His words, believe the works of His hand.

Pastor and author Tim Keller calls Jesus the Lord of the wine, the feast, the party, and basically, the greatest time ever. We know this because His very first miracle—the first work of His man hands—was the turning of water into wine. Nay, the best wine. And the disciples marveled, John tells us; they believed in Him (John 2:11). It was because of a miracle that His disciples believed in Him, and it was on account of His miracles that many came to Him.

I find it hard to trust sometimes. Don’t you? It seems sometimes that God is intricately interested in the plans and futures of so many others, while He feels far off from me. His presence feels not as near and His words sound not as bright. I find it hard to believe Him in those moments. It’s much easier to believe the God who answers my prayers, clears my ways, and makes straight my paths. It’s easier to believe the God who is there.

I think Jesus knew this. In our common vernacular, I imagine His words sounded something like this: “If you cannot believe me (even though I’m doing these works right in front of you), can’t you believe on the evidence of me?”

I don’t know whether Jesus was disappointed with the people for being incredulous at what played out in front of their eyes, in their skepticism and doubt. But sometimes, when God feels far from me, I remember the glory of Jesus and imagine these words to be more tender than perhaps He meant them. I imagine He knows to believe is hard enough, and even harder when our hearts have grown hard and our hearing dull, and this is why He worked miracles during His short time on earth. He wanted so deeply for the people to believe and see and understand and come and follow Him.

Recently, at Christmas, we celebrated the coming of God to earth not only as man, but as baby. That baby grew into a man, changed water to wine, healed blind eyes, raised the dead, commanded the storm to be silent, and then He died an unjust and brutal death. But this can never be the end of our gospel story, because the most miraculous event comes after: His own resurrection and the proffered gift to us of eternity with Him. Jesus is one long succession of miracles, from birth until death and then life again. His glory is on display from the beginning of time until now, this very second, even in my doubt and my struggle with belief.

I know so many of us struggle to believe with all our hearts that all Jesus’ words and love are true. But do you see His miracles? He didn’t do them for the healed, calmed, and raised alone. He did them for you and for me, and for all humanity. His best glory is the belief of His children.SRT-John16-Instagram2s

Lore Ferguson Wilbert is a writer, thinker, and learner. She blogs at Sayable, tweets @lorewilbert, and posts photos @loreferguson. She has a husband named Nate, a puppy named Harper Nelle, and too many books to read in one lifetime.

Post Comments (196)

196 thoughts on "Glory on Display"

  1. Taylor Agee says:

    I feel like everyone doubting their faith should read this and should know that we are here for a reason. We as humans want answers and evidence that is so in our face that we would have to have Jesus himself stand in front of

    1. Taylor Agee says:

      them^^

  2. Jessica says:

    This is exactly what I’ve needed to hear for so long. My doubts have piled up and I have struggled with my faith for many years. Thank you for your ministry to us!

    1. Rebekah says:

      Yes, yes, and yes. I have struggled the same way. I often think of my doubt/faith problem as “the thorn in my side” that the Lord won’t remove that Paul refers to. I fight it constantly. I know my Jesus is who he says he is, but the enemy comes back and whispers lies and then I feel guilty. I’ve never read a devotional like this that speaks so directly to this. I needed it. And I’m sure I’ll be reading this over and over. Loving this study already!

  3. Danya Ho says:

    Jesus is one long succession of miracles, from birth until death and then life again. His glory is on display from the beginning of time until now, this very second, even in my doubt and my struggle with belief.

  4. Claire Massey says:

    It is so exciting to read the book of John and know the background behind it. While reading John 2:22, “After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scritpute and the words that Jesus had spoken.” To know John wrote this after Jesus’ death and to hear that even the disciples had a hard time believing though faith while standing next to Jesus, but finally could though remembering His words he spoke, shows how we are all very similar in faith. But, we have the everything we need now to believe and can read it everyday and learn and apply according to the Word. And going to Cheri’s comment – How could they not believe completely when it was happening right before their eyes!!!??? I would be bowing down and celebrating what all Jesus did at that time! Wouldn’t you?

    P.S. Love the photo from 30A!!! My favorite place to visit!

  5. Cheri says:

    So many times I have wished to have Jesus walking with me the way He did with His disciples… and I think to myself, “How could they not see? Why didn’t they just know? He was right there!!” And yet, I KNOW He’s with me… and I know the more time I spend with Him, the more I can feel Him with me, so why is it that I don’t always make Him my priority?? I know how it works, but I let the enemy trick me with a comfortable bed in the morning… or busy-ness… or TV… or a myriad of other distractions. Oh, Father, help me to ignore the distractions and make You my priority today and every day!! I want to feel your closeness in each and every moment of each and every day!!

    1. Emma says:

      Cheri you have described exactly how I feel! I know how wonderful God is and how much I love intimate time with Him- and yet I seem to avoid spending time with Him?! God is so faithful that despite my distractedness He continues to patiently call me to Himself. Amen- I too pray that I will choose God first everyday, make time & ignore the distractions. Thank you for your honesty- it is encouraging to know other people feel this too.

  6. Kylee says:

    I’ve felt the presence of God so deeply and seen the redemptive work of Jesus in my life firsthand, so I don’t wrestle with doubt as much these days — but it’s hard for me to relay the depth of what I believe to my kid. My nine year old struggles with doubt, and I struggle to help her believe. These miracles in the Bible are the first thing I ever believed, they’re what led me to a life of trusting God with my life – that’s when I noticed he was performing miracles all the time, right in front of my face . Today I took a minute to write out all the miracles Jesus has done in my life , in our life, and the ones I’ve seen in her life. We will overcome by the blood and the word of our testimony, right? Praying the works of Jesus both in the Bible and in our lives help her in her doubt. Meet her where she’s at, God!

    1. Keeta says:

      Beautifully said! I believe that your faith in God will be what your child needs to see to help her with the doubt that she has. So many times children look at us even we don’t think they are. Your testimony will be great! Continue to have faith in God and pray for your child in the midst of it all.

      1. Kylee says:

        Thank you Keeta!

    2. Kylee-I am an adult believer , but I am also the adult child doubter. I, like your daughter, doubted, questioned, challenged & walked away for a time. But God’s got her. Her questioning and doubting can be so good! It can enrich and strengthen her faith ultimately. My mom is like you-she believed wholeheartedly always. I just couldn’t. I needed those years, but they were hard for my mom. Have faith that your sweet daughter’s faith, while different from your own, is wonderful and rich and right for her. And that developing her relationship with Christ is her unique journey-and He’s with her the whole way-even if she doesn’t quite know that yet. Xo

      1. Kylee says:

        April, this is so encouraging to hear! I want to believe that everything we are learning together about Jesus now will be seeds for later – they will flourish into a relationship of her own with God, in time. Bless your mother for never giving up! And thank you for this encouragement!

  7. Jessa says:

    There are times when I feel that God is so far away from me. And I long to feel so close. Yet the reason WHY He is so far away is because I don’t make time with Him a priority. I wish we didn’t have to go through these cycles in our faith; being close and then far.

    1. Alexandria Contreras says:

      I’m in the same boat! I’ve been struggling with even wanting to try to be close to Him but my husband and I have started a small group at our house with some close friends and it’s been super encouraging and slowly but surely I feel the fire lighting back up, stay faithful even when it’s hard, even when you feel like your failing, He is there always even if you can’t feel it

      1. Tessie says:

        I’ve been struggling with this as well, and I feel completely encouraged by your words. I believe they’re exactly what I needed to hear in this season of my life; thank you.

    2. Jean :) says:

      I just lifted you Up sister :) For desire for Him that results in seeking Him and walking with Him daily :) I have felt just this way so many times, but He is giving me the desire and discipline for following Him, just like what He will do for you as you express your desire to desire Him :) When this happens, there just might be setbacks…man oh man, I had such a hard week last week!!! But I realized that the enemy was trying to discourage me, but even more, God is trying to strengthen my muscles for growth…don’t be discouraged by setbacks, rather enCOURAGEd and keep moving forward trusting in Christ’s love for you and His power at work inside of you!!!!!!!

  8. Brandi says:

    I absolutely love Mary and Jesus at the wedding! “3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, k“Woman, lwhat does this have to do with me? mMy hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” When I read it this morning, I actually laughed out loud. Mary had no doubt Jesus would be able to turn that water into wine (I get the feeling he may have done it at home??), and his response seems to me to be the Biblical, “But, Mom”. She didn’t say it as a question of oh what shall we do? Can’t you imagine her turning to her adult son with *that* mother look and saying, “They have no wine” with an eyebrow slightly raised and Jesus looking slightly chagrined before obeying her. It makes me smile to imagine the scene. =)

    1. Ginger says:

      Brandi, you’re so funny! I’ve imagined it every time I’ve read this story!!! I’m sure He was very gentle because it was His mom…lol, and to say “No” probably wouldn’t have been the thing to say because her faith was so very strong!!!! So why wouldn’t He do it??? I love your thoughts on it, though…exactly how I’ve imagined it for years!

    2. Kasiah Danelle says:

      I love that! I never thought of it that way but I like that. Kinda makes it make sense!

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