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  • Sarah Raad

Silliness

“‘Do you NOW believe?’” (John 16:31, emphasis added).

The Resurrection (Sebastiano Ricci Italian)

There is a passage from the Gospel of Saint John that relates to a conversation between Christ and His disciples, and I have been unable to get it out of my head over the last few days.


And the conversation goes like this…


“Then Jesus’ disciples said, ‘Now You are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. Now we can see that You know all things and that You do not even need to have anyone ask You questions. This makes us believe that You came from God.’ ‘Do you NOW believe?’ Jesus replied. Jesus said to His disciples, ‘The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, every man to his home, and will leave me alone; yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said this to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.’” (John 16:29-33, emphasis added).


And I have been reflecting on that conversation, with a particular focus on Christ’s response to the Disciples’ ridiculousness, when Christ replied, “‘Do you NOW believe?’” (John 16:31, emphasis added).


After all, this conversation reveals the true silliness of the apostles – and in a way, my own true silliness in dealing with God...


You see, basically, after living with Christ for three whole years of His public ministry, witnessing countless miracles – including the water into wine and the loaves and the fish and seeing people cured of incurable illnesses, even witnessing people being raised from the dead – the apostles did not believe. Even after witnessing Christ’s passion and death and resurrection, which He had FORETOLD, they were still struggling to believe. And now – NOW… NOW – finally, in this particular Gospel passage we are told… They believed. “NOW”!

And I have been reflecting on the infinite patience of God to persist despite all the silliness with His disciples – and with me too… For I too have seen countless wonders and miracles in my life. I too have seen countless proofs of my Beloved’s power and majesty and still – still – I fail to believe. And still – still – my Beloved has the patience to try again, to explain it from another angle. To approach it a little differently this time to make sure that I really understand it.

And this is no small thing. You see, I have spent most of my life rejecting the truth right in front of my face. I have mocked and ridiculed a God who will comfort and a God upon whom I can depend. And I have failed to understand the God who loved me enough to lay down His life for His sheep…


And when I reflect on the fortitude and the patience that is required of my Beloved in dealing with me, my heart weeps for joy – because I am the child of a patient God, whose only reproach to my utter silliness is to say, “‘Do you NOW believe?’” (John 16:31, emphasis added).


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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