David a man after God’s heart said these words in Psalm 14:1. He said that it is very unwise to conclude at any point in your life that there is no God.
The Kingdom of God is a whole different ball game and one that the natural mind continues to battle with. Some people actually believe in UFOs and aliens which they have not seen, except in movies. Asking them then to apply this same principle to the unseen Kingdom of God is asking for too much. No they need empirical proof as they are highly rational and intelligent human beings.
I have often wished that I lived in 1st century Israel so I could see and hear Yeshua teach in Person. However, I have concluded that the spiritual dynamics are unchanged and if you did not believe the message of the Kingdom of God then, then you would not believe it today. As we will see, they asked for a sign or in our modern terminology – empirical proof which will convince them. The reality is that no matter what proof you present to the unbelieving heart, he (or she) will find an irrational reason to reject it.
Shortly after the feeding of the 5000 (men alone) – and the account of Yeshua walking on the Sea of Galilea, He was teaching at the synagogue in Capernaum. We read in that same chapter in the Book of John how they were looking for Him and when they eventually found Him in Capernaum they asked Him: ‘Rabbi, when did You come here?’ Yeshua responded by saying that they should not seek Him only to fill their tummies, but rather to seek the Bread/Lechem from Heaven.
Then they asked Him this question: ’What shall we do that we may work the works of God?’ In other words, what must we do so we can enter eternal life (olam haba/the world to come)? This was not a superficial question. They had travelled all the way from Tiberius to Capernaum (roughly 16 km). They had seen the miracle of two fish and five barley loaves feeding thousands, so they knew this was no ordinary Man.
Here comes the answer. He said to them: ‘This is the work of God that you believe in Him whom He sent.’ That’s it.
You just need to believe in the One whom the Father sent, that is: you just have to believe that He is the Messiah. Their response is astounding. John 6: 30:’ Therefore they said to Him. What sign will You perform then that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? Our fathers ate manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’
Why didn’t someone say: ‘And what about the miracle of a few days ago? Remember how we all ate from what were only two fish and five barley loaves? In fact, we ate so much that 12 baskets of leftovers were collected!’
Yeshua then basically explains to them that He is the Messiah, how He was the Lechem from heaven that came down. He even said to that unless they eat of His flesh and drink His blood they have no part in Him. Of course, He was saying that unless they accept the price that He was about to pay, namely that He would suffer terribly that they would have no part in Him. He also said that if they did that He would raise them up in the last day – they knew what He meant as they were familiar with ‘olam haba’.
So let’s evaluate this interaction here. Yeshua said that the only thing we need to do is to believe that He is the Messiah. In other words, the key issue is: what do you believe? Some do not even believe that Yeshua existed. Even demons know that Yeshua is the Son of God: Matt 8:29; Mark 1:24; Mark 5:7; Luke 4:34.
It follows then that an important part of our business while here on earth is to ensure that we get our beliefs right. At first we have to accept the work of Messiah and thereafter continually reject anything false that would seek to lead us astray. Remember the truth in any situation is not determined by popular opinion- the truth simply is the truth. Yeshua said in John 14:6:‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’