“If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” – The Jews could not identify Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God, the Christ. They mocked him, challenged him, and questioned him. They were unable to identify Jesus for who he was. They only recognized him within the context of their own experiences and what they had been taught by their religious leaders. Jesus responds to their inquiry by explaining that the works, works some did not recognize, he has done give testimony to who he is, the Messiah. Jesus explains that his followers will be saved through himself and the Father.
This is the same question, or demand, that many of us make on Jesus today. We want tangible proof that we can experience through all of our senses. We want to hear, see, and feel Jesus. We try to place the identification of Christ through the own contexts of our experiences, through what we have been taught, similar to what is illustrated in John’s Gospel. But what if the proof we are looking for is much more simple that we want to expect. What if the Messiah we are expecting is performing the same works in our world that He performed 2000 years ago? Are we able to step back and see Christ in the stranger on the street or through a classmate? The labels we want to place on Christ are the same labels that prevent us from being able to identify our friends, acquaintances, and family for who they really are.
Tell us plainly Jesus. Perhaps Jesus has, is, and will continue to. Perhaps we are the ones in our own way from seeing who Jesus is and how Jesus is at work in our lives.