How many present day prophets have you heard recently who say they can solve your problems? They may be politicians who promise to end the economic crisis, stop all war, or restore morality to our society. They may be salespeople who claim that their product can make you truly happy. But how do you know if they’re telling the truth? You can never be absolutely certain, but you can usually tell if they’re just out for themselves or if they answer to a higher authority.
That’s the issue some of the Pharisees had with Jesus. They thought him to be a false prophet who was only speaking about himself. Now it’s true that Jesus was talking about himself, but as he went on to explain: “I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father has taught me”. As further proof, he told them that when he was “lifted up”—that is, when he was crucified—they would know for certain that he was the Messiah. Evidently his words rang true, because many of the Jews who heard him that day ended up believing in him.
Those who believed in Jesus were convinced by his words, but even more by the authority with which he spoke. And his sacrifice on the Cross would show them that he willingly gave up everything, even his equality with God, to bring them eternal life.
We have the same power that Our Lord had. We have access to his Holy Spirit. And we too can bring people to him. But they will believe us only to the extent that we exhibit the Holy Spirit through, not only our words, but our actions. And so let us ask the Lord for his grace, for his greatest purpose for us is to be channels of his love and mercy.