By whose power? Such is the question that gets posed in today’s gospel. By whose power does Jesus do the things he does? It is simply a ridiculous question. How can good and life giving deeds not come from God? How is that? The miracles of Jesus point to the fact the Kingdom of God is in fact in our midst.
The power of Jesus, which healed and made whole is in fact made available to us when we trust in Jesus. The question before us today is this: Are we with God or against him? Do we gather or scatter? We know we can do amazing things when we are with God, and we know that we experience the power of God deep within us when we open our hearts to a relationship with him. But we can also experience the temptation to ignore God, to turn the other way, to seek our own desires.
This question, as the psalm tells us, is one of the heart. Do we soften our hearts to receive God, or do we harden our hearts and reject God? Are we able to allow God to come into our hearts, to trust in God, even when it is hard, so that we can experience the goodness of the Lord, or do we close our hearts, harden them, turning away from God and his lifegiving way.
So much of the season of Lent is to soften the heart, much like a farmer needs to soften the soil before planting. We seek to do more that opens ourselves to God, and to give up those things that keep us from embracing the way of God. And so, “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”