37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. There he stayed, 41 and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.” 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.
Thoughts: In some ways- this passage is the beginning of Lent, as Jesus retreated beyond the Jordan- and regrouped at the place where John Baptized him. This was similar to what Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane, in which he prepared for his death. The people of Jerusalem had just tried to stone him and seize him, but he escaped twice (10:31,39). This was an indication of things to come. At the same time, Jesus’ works and words were bearing fruit. The people who were familiar with John the Baptist came to him, and remembered that John the Baptists had said he was the Messiah and the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (Jn. 1:29). Jesus had done enough to indicate to those who were seeking the Messiah that He was the One. It is the same today. Jesus has done enough to prove to those who are open that He is the One who can provide hope and life for us. There always will be those who oppose Him.
Prayer: On this Ash Wednesday, Lord, may I remember that you were expelled from your own Temple. May I be inspired to be faithful to you for you were faithful unto death for me.
John Calvin Abridged: Jesus calls his miracles “the works of my Father” (vs. 37), and asks them to believe in Him because these miracles make his identity clear. “The Father is in me” indicates that he does nothing contrary to the Father (similar to His saying, “I and the Father are one”). Jesus withdrew beyond the Jordan to escape fighting to no advantage. The large crowd coming to Him indicates He was not seeking solitude, but to make a sanctuary that He could not have in His own Temple. The miracles and the testimony of John confirmed His authority.