By Jason Scherzer
47 And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”
John shows us in these verses that many people were believing in Jesus – so much that even the Jewish rulers were believing. Yet, they were afraid of the Pharisees, who opposed Jesus. Due to this, they did not openly confess their belief in Jesus, because they did not want to be thrown out of the synagogue. Membership in the synagogue was not a quick application with a credit check, three most recent addresses of residence, and a bank account number for billing. In Jewish society, the synagogue was the center of worship, all religious learning, all societal belief about God, and the Scriptures. It was center piece of life itself to Jews in their society.
People may hear the gospel of Christ and understand it intellectually or rationally, but not inter-personally. In so doing, they would not enter into a relationship with the God who made the Heavens and the Earth. Faith comes by hearing, to be sure, but faith does not come to all who hear the message of Christ. Some must hear it several times before they are enabled to make a full response.
In His first coming, Christ did not come as Judge, but came as the Savior. He will come again as the Judge and will separate the righteous from the unrighteous, and this ought to make us tremble in a healthy fear. We should not be afraid that God is somehow malicious, unreasonable, or vengeful, but that He will not leave the guilty unpunished.
Jesus says that the word that He has spoken will judge people on the last day; it cannot be denied that He did in fact speak the words that are recorded so reliably in the gospel accounts; this is evidence that Jesus freely offers salvation to all who will trust in Him.
Jesus did not make up His own message; He was sent, commissioned, appointed by the Father. All of Jesus’ works and words were directed by God the Father, and performed in deeply close fellowship with Him. Therefore Jesus’ words carry all of the authority of God.
The things that God has given you to do today – do these as a service unto God, in the strength that He provides. Do these things while knowing that He is working everlasting life inside of you. If you have placed all of your faith in Jesus of Nazareth, then you have all of the resources that He provides; you are seated with Christ in the heavenly realms; you are a conqueror; you have everlasting life working in you and flowing out of you as a never-ending river of life.
LORD, give us Your strength and grace in these difficult days. We know that You are in control and faithful. Amen and amen.