What about the faith Jesus spoke of while on earth?
This faith spoken of by Jesus had nothing to do with something that we could in any way attain. He meant it to sound unattainable because it is. It is that same chasm that is between the spirit and the flesh, the mind of Christ and the mind of the world. I don't think Jesus was in any way trying to tease them, but was simply describing the reality of having God as the life of man.
You made an excellent comment about motives being REVEALED by what Jesus had said, because everything about Jesus - His words and His actions - made it so clear TO THEM that whatever it was that made HIM tick THEY DID NOT HAVE IT NOR DID THEY UNDERSTAND IT. They were left in awe of this man who so obviously lived by the power of God. "What kind of man is this that even the wind and the sea obey him?" "What kind of man is this who even forgives sin?" "What kind of man is this who makes the blind see and the lame walk?" "WHAT KIND OF A MAN IS THIS?"
Motives are not the determining issue. That will spin you around and around as you try to examine and re-examine your own motives, and will come to conclusions based on how well your requests SEEM to be getting answered. I'm not saying that motives are unimportant because the fact is that the new heart we have received in Christ is ONLY filled with pure and good motives. But this is NOT what we examine when we are trying to "determine our motives", otherwise, we could only come up with the same obvious conclusion that God has also agreed to that we are holy and blameless before Him. But, no, we end up challenging HIS perspective based on the reality of His Son in making us new creations, and instead, try to work up our own motivation.
Everything spoken by Jesus during the time He lived on earth MUST be viewed according to His finished work ... it cannot be separated. Our modern theology is founded upon taking bits and pieces of the whole and attempting to "apply" them to the life of the believer. It is crucial to realize that EVEN JESUS' OWN DISCIPLES did not really understand what was happening in their very presence! If you follow the whole line of events in regards to the "faith" statements you will see time and time again that the conclusion was simple in that it revealed that whatever "faith" was that it was beyond everything they had heard and learned and THOUGHT they knew.
In the account of JOHN it is stated here and there how Jesus' "time" or "hour" had NOT YET COME.
And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what do I have to do with you? My hour has not yet come." John 2:4
Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall you worship the FatherJohn 4:21
But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.John 4:23
Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live. John 5:25
Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice,John 5:28
Jesus therefore said to them, "My time is not yet at hand, but your time is always opportune. John 7:6
Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come.John 7:8
They were seeking therefore to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. John 7:30
These words He spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one seized Him, because His hour had not yet come. John 8:20
The whole account of His life and doings was made known to His disciples as being contingent (depending, or hanging) upon something yet to be revealed. It must have been slowly embedded into their minds that something was coming. They had their own speculations, but those kept getting eliminated in each new adventure with this amazing man. Could you imagine the strange mystery and excitement that must have taken place within them when they finally heard Jesus say,
The hour has now come for the Son of Man to be glorifiedJohn 12:23
John came to understand (through the Spirit) that everything that happened in the "Upper Room" was all based upon this reality.
Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus KNOWING THAT HIS HOUR HAD COME that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. John 13:1
Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. IN THAT DAY you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full. These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; AN HOUR IS COMING when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but will tell you plainly of the Father. IN THAT DAY you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father. I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again and going to the Father.'John 16:22-28
"IN THAT DAY ..." Can you hear it? Can you imagine the incredible mix of confusion and excitement that must have been have been assaulting their senses? "WHAT day?"
Do you ever see the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey" and the sequel, "2010"? There was this mysterious phrase spoken a few times, "Something wonderful is about to happen!" The anticipation was way too much for some, but it set the stage that caused every viewer to keep waiting to see how all the confusion would finally be explained. Somehow, even though the incredibly baffling bits and pieces were shown to be found in Christ's glorification (His death, resurrection, and return through His Spirit) they have been revisited as if there is little, to no, connection. If the two above movies were never culminated by answering that "something wonderful" then the confusing pieces would remain confusing pieces ... and any attempt to "apply" them would be ridiculous and futile. And yet we continually try to "apply" these bits and pieces contained in certain Bible verses and make them "relevant" to our lives. It's ridiculous.
Jesus Christ and Him crucified1 Corinthians 2:2
Christ is the ONLY answer to all these things. The application to us is obvious within this answer. What "faith" did we have OUTSIDE of having our former life destroyed and now made alive in Christ? None. What would its application be to our lives today? I can tell you that for me it is powerful, because when I hear myself fall into the same confusion that the disciples went through of trying to figure out faith, and in determining "how much" I might have or not have, I have gained incredible clarity and soundness of mind to be able to call death, death and life, life. I have come to see how FUTILE it is to try to get "more faith", and how that whole concept totally ignores the new creation. I HAVE NO ANSWER OTHER THAN CHRIST BEING MY LIFE. And this answer has become MORE THAN SATISFACTORY to me.
Oh, well, this has taken a few days to work on, and now I'm being waited on to go down to the city Christmas parade. hahaha! Talk at you later. :)