Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
“Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”
Our visit to Sychar was as amazing us as it was to the Samaritans. We had always been taught that they were unclean. And at least James and I had reason to fear them. I won't go into that now. But Jesus marched us into Samaria as bold as you please. We stopped at the ancient well of Jacob. Jesus rested by the well and sent the rest of us to the nearby town of Sychar to buy food. I wondered if it was safe to leave Jesus alone, but no one would come to the well in the hottest part of the day. And, to be honest, we felt that it would be safer if we went with a larger group into town.
When we returned Jesus was talking with a woman. But none of us dared ask him what he needed or why he was talking to a Samaritan woman. Whatever they were talking about seemed to upset her. She left her water jar and ran off toward town.
When she was gone, we started urging Jesus to eat, but he refused. We were wondering how he could have found anything to eat. He said his food was to do his father's will.
We divided what we had purchased among ourselves and sat down to eat. As we were finishing, Jesus said, "Don't you have a saying, 'Four more months, and then the harvest?' Lift up your eyes and see. The fields are white for harvest." We automatically looked up and saw hundreds of people were coming from the town. Their robes were the color of a ripe wheat field.
Evidently on the word of the woman he had been talking to, many of them believed Jesus was the Christ. They asked him to stay for a while. We stayed there two more days, and in that short time, hundreds of Samaritans came to believe that Jesus was the Savior of the world.
As we went on from there Jesus reminded us of something He had said earlier. "A prophet has no honor in his own country." But as we came back into Galilee, the people received him after all. They had been to the Passover in Jerusalem and had seen the amazing signs that he did there. We went first to Cana where he had turned the water into wine at the wedding feast.
One morning when he rose early to go out and pray, we roused ourselves and went out with him. It was getting light in the east when he rose from prayer and began to talk to us.
"Why do you think I have been received here in Galilee where they tried to stone me earlier?" We talked about it among ourselves. It seemed obvious to us that it was because they had seen him perform signs and wonders at the Passover.
Then he asked us, "Why then did the Samaritans put their faith in me? Had they been to Jerusalem as well?" Several of us chuckled at this. There is no way Samaritans had been to the Passover. He continued, "There is danger for people to only believe because they see miracles." Simon argued a little with this.
"Master I believed because I saw you fill our nets with an impossibly large catch of fish."
Jesus said, "Was that your only reason, Simon? Had your heart not already been convicted by some of my teaching?" Simon ducked his head. "I knew that you would believe, Simon, when you saw the miracle. But there is a danger of people who see signs and wonders believing against their will. They are not repenting. They don't want to follow me. But they know that I have to be the Christ to have done such signs."
My brother James said, "Then why do you perform signs and wonders?"
"My father gives these signs so people will know that I am indeed the Christ. I have given you authority to do some of the same works that I do. And as the gospel spreads to the ends of the earth, he will often do such miracles so people who will come to me will know that I am the Savior of the world. But those who only believe because they see signs, will search hard for some explanation that will not require them to continue to believe in me. Some will only continue to believe if they see a miracle every day."
Just then the sun peaked over the mountains and shown down on us. We could not help but turn and look at the glorious sunrise.
Jesus said, "Is that not a wonderful sign? Only my father could set the sun in the sky or create the stars you see at night."
Thomas said, "That's not a miracle. It happens every day."
Jesus answered, "And if people saw signs and wonders everyday, they would begin to say, that's not a miracle. It happens all the time."