Notes on John 6:29
Jesus answered him,
“This is the work of God,
That you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
This wasn’t a new teaching, although I had that misconception for many years. Jesus didn’t nullify the Law of Moses or turn it upside down (Matt 5:17). From the beginning, the Law is rich with teaching on belief and faith. Abraham was accepted as righteous because of his belief. Moses was a man of faith who lost a treasured privilege the day he acted in anger and ‘did not believe the Lord’ (Num 20:12). Later, Moses rebuked the people for their unbelief, (Deut 1:32).
The people were given testimonies, not just commandments.
Psalms 78 and 106 list the impact unbelief had on the Israelites. Here are some examples:
…His anger rose against Israel,
Because they did not believe in God
And did not trust His saving power.
Then they despised the pleasant land,
Having no faith in His promise.
They murmured in their tents,
And did not obey the voice of the Lord.
And the Lord said to Moses,
“How long will this people despise Me?
And how long will they not believe in Me,
In spite of all the signs that I have done
In every case, unbelief led to disobedience. We shouldn’t be confused about this, which I was for years. I thought a person could be known by their words in spite of their deeds. But your actions reveal your heart.
What you believe WILL manifest itself. Faith DOES lead to obedience and unbelief DOES lead to disobedience.
Jesus was giving the people the answer they most needed to hear. Seek faith—not performance. Believe, and the work that honors God will follow.