Tag Archives: Eternal Life

Sunday with John – I Am

John 8:48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

What is the general theme of the passage?
The Jews called Jesus a Samaritan!  It was a racial slur that suggested he was the halfbreed product of one who’s father is unknown.  Can you believe it?  God uses their own mouths, filled with ignorant speech and evil intent to publicly identify His own truth against them.  By their own words they admit out loud the exact truth Jesus is trying to tell them; they do NOT know His father!  

What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Jesus identifies God as His Father.  God seeks Jesus’s glory.  The key to never seeing death is believing  Jesus Word, “before Abraham was, I am.”

What does it say about people?
These Jews did have faith.  They were sons of their father Abraham but their faith was based on the wrong father/son relationship.

Is there truth here for me?
Those Jews heard Jesus’s words wrong.  They heard verse 51 as “if anyone keeps my word, he will never die.”  What Jesus actually said was “I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” Over and over the book of John has confirmed the truth of eternal life for those who follow Christ.  It was an idea from a commentary that became this pinprick of light that let me “see” how different those two phrases really are. I was just like those Jews, not exactly Godless but not Godly either, but there was a “day” I saw the mystery of Jesus’s Word fulfilled.  I will never “see” death” because in that one moment with Jesus I crossed death’s invisible barrier.  My body surely will die just as Abraham’s and the prophets did but I will never “see” death because I saw Jesus instead “and was glad” my life in Him will continue unbroken forever.

“Real”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real”and “because he loved you. Now you shall be Real to every one.”
…the quotes are from the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

This Christmas I was reminded of the book The Velveteen Rabbit, first published in 1922, and discovered the quotes above woven into it’s tender story.  I know it’s not a perfect comparison but I saw a likeness to how God becomes real to His children and how in that relationship those children become real.  “It’s a thing that happens to you…because he loved you.”  The notable thing that caught my attention is that the caps in both quotes are not mine, they are the authors. Those capitals are the gift that pointed my mind to these other timeless Words that are a “Real” check about ”Real” love.

o you are a teacher of Israel,” said Jesus, and you do not recognise such things? I assure you that we are talking about something we really know and we are witnessing to something we have actually observed, yet men like you will not accept our evidence. Yet if I have spoken to you about things which happen on this earth and you will not believe me, what chance is there that you will believe me if I tell you about what happens in Heaven? No one has ever been up to Heaven except the Son of Man who came down from Heaven. The Son of Man must be lifted above the heads of men—as Moses lifted up that serpent in the desert—so that any man who believes in him may have eternal life. For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that every one who believes in him shall not be lost, but should have eternal life. You must understand that God has not sent his Son into the world to pass sentence upon it, but to save it—through him. Any man who believes in him is not judged at all. It is the one who will not believe who stands already condemned, because he will not believe in the character of God’s only Son. This is the judgment—that light has entered the world and men have preferred darkness to light because their deeds are evil. Anybody who does wrong hates the light and keeps away from it, for fear his deeds may be exposed.  But anybody who is living by the truth will come to the light to make it plain that all he has done has been done through God.”              John 3:16-21 J.B. Phillips NT

 

 

The Judge

John 12:47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.” ESV

These Words are the last thing Jesus says before separating himself from his public ministry to begin this very personal “Passover” preparation.  Jesus speaks these Words as a commandment from His father.  They are the judge, not Jesus.  God’s commandment is eternal life and He has given Jesus the power to Pass Over His judgment to liberate those who will hear and keep His Word.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise,
as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake.
He does not want anyone to be destroyed,
but wants everyone to repent. NLT