“We often fail to believe that God is who He says He is. We do not believe that God will really do what He has promised to do; we suspect that God might not know or will not do what is best for us; and we doubt the way that God has ordered the world. When we believe lies and choose to sin, we experience emotional consequences such as depression, anger, anxiety, hopelessness, and many others.”
Jesus said to the Jews:
"If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.
But there is another who testifies on my behalf,
and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.
You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
I do not accept human testimony,
but I say this so that you may be saved.
He was a burning and shining lamp,
and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.
But I have testimony greater than John's.
The works that the Father gave me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify on my behalf
that the Father has sent me.
Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf.
But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
and you do not have his word remaining in you,
because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.
You search the Scriptures,
because you think you have eternal life through them;
even they testify on my behalf.
But you do not want to come to me to have life.
"I do not accept human praise;
moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you.
I came in the name of my Father,
but you do not accept me;
yet if another comes in his own name,
you will accept him.
How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another
and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?
Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father:
the one who will accuse you is Moses,
in whom you have placed your hope.
For if you had believed Moses,
you would have believed me,
because he wrote about me.
But if you do not believe his writings,
how will you believe my words?"
Today's reading challenges us to confront our tendencies toward unbelief and the role that belonging to a group may play in those tendencies. Although we may wish to define ourselves distinctly as individuals, we are also infused with a deep desire for belonging. We are wired for community. While that desire is good, it can also get us into deep confusion when the group loses its way. In that sense, we are very much like sheep: we need a shepherd to rescue us.