Jesus is walking through Solomon’s Porch during the festival of lights, or Hanukkah (verse 22-23). This place is important; it was the porch or portico on the east side of the Temple and was called the “Porch of Judgment.” From this location, the king would make his judgments and would pronounce innocence or guilt. A casual reading of this text might suggest either you believe or you don’t, either you are completely in or you are an outsider. We need to step back from such black and white thinking.
Many in our communities of faith experience doubt. One wise matriarch expressed it this way, “God never gives us more than we can handle. I just wish God didn’t have such faith in me.” Doubt and questioning are normal parts of our lives as people and as persons of faith. When we acknowledge the travelling companion of faith-doubt-we leave room for the real life experiences of people. Even the most faithful have moments of doubt.
In the midst of that reality there is God’s promise: “I give them eternal life?no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (verse 28)
God of wisdom, lead your people today. Speak clearly to us. Amen. — RB