What is FaithÂ â€” John 6:41-47
The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
When Jesus said that He is the bread of life that came from heaven, peopleÂ began to speak against Him. They knew the human parents and relatives of Jesus. On the basis of that knowledge, it was difficult for them toÂ believe what Jesus said. To them Jesus tells that no one can come toÂ him unless one is attracted by the Father. As fulfilment of theÂ prophesies, only those who are taught by the Father and heard from Him comeÂ to Jesus. Those who come will have the faith and they shall inheritÂ resurrection and eternal life.
Here we see the given nature or infused aspect of faith. As we knowÂ faith is one of the theological virtues. It means that it is not justÂ of human origin. Faith has a given aspect. God gives or arouses it inÂ us and our response to it realizes in the properÂ faith. If there isÂ only a human basis, we will be like the Jews who spoke against Jesus as it was difficult for them to believe what Jesus said. From a humanÂ point of view what Jesus is and what He tells are confusing. It does notÂ satisfy our mere intellect.
Jesus prays, “I thank you Father, Lord ofÂ heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wiseÂ and intelligent and have revealed to the infantsâ€ (Luke. 10:21). InÂ relation to faith it is not intelligence or intellect that matters. WeÂ need them to have a real understanding of faith. But faith is not purelyÂ intellectual knowledge where everything is based on reason or proof.
Faith is supernatural where everything is based on revelation. FaithÂ is the obedient response to the revealing God. St. Paul says, “GodÂ chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wiseâ€ (1 Cor. 1:27)
This is faith. So in order to have eternal life, we have to give ourselves to theÂ revealing God in total submission. God the Father teaches us and drawsÂ us to the Son who gives us eternal life. Unconditional assent and firmÂ response is demanded from our part. So let us give ourselves to beÂ taught and drawn by the Father who will give us eternal life in His son, Jesus Christ.
– â€“ – reflection by Fr Abraham Muruppel