The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
The Bible often contrasts works and faith. Theologians will use a fancy term, opinio legis - “the judgment of the law,” to describe our attitude about works. It shows up here in John 6:28. After Jesus observes that the crowd approaching him came to him so as to get food which would pass away, the people asked what they should do. How do we do the works of God? This is our natural question. God awakens in us a desire to escape condemnation. Our response is to try to work out our salvation by doing some sort of good works. What are those works of God?
Jesus says that the work of God is to believe in Jesus. This is difficult for one very simple reason. Believing is not a work at all. It doesn’t seem to be doing anything. We would like to have the steps to follow. Jesus gives us no steps. He tells us to believe in him.
In the end, the Christian life is entirely a life of reception. It may work itself out in some activities, good works which help our neighbor, take care of our world, and promote good. But those works are a byproduct of trusting in Jesus. Our right focus is on tusting Jesus. That’s the work, though it isn’t a work at all.
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