Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Reality Restated—Believe (John 12:44-50)

“And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me. “He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me. “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. “I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.”” (John 12:44–50, NASB95)

These are the last words recorded for us by John before Jesus joins His disciples for their last meal and their last night together, the events of which he covers over the next several chapters (13-17). In relation to today’s passage we read previously that Jesus had withdrawn from the crowd and hid Himself knowing that as prophecy was being fulfilled that men were seeking to have him put to death. Having done this we don’t know, other than His disciples, who His audience was when He said these words, but it is an incredible summary of the unity shared between Him and the Father in His coming.

Jesus had said numerous times that He did not come of His own accord or to forward His own agenda. He came to do the will of the Father and the things He did were from the Father. He had spoken of how He was the perfect embodiment of the Father in Him they could know the Father because they were one.  In Him becoming man He brought with Him the light of God in such a way that man could truly see and know God. He came as the Light of the world in order to move us from darkness to light, and what was required for this to happen was that we are to believe in Him and in believing in Him believe that the Father had sent Him. He did nothing of His own accord.

There is nothing new here. It is a summary of things that He had said repeatedly and which He was soon to bring to their full completion. His reason for coming was not to judge the world. The reality is that the word of God already given was the judge. Jesus came to seek and to save that which already was lost to judgment. He came to bring man back from his certain end which was already settled apart from being saved, and He is that only means of salvation.

Rejecting Him is not just rejecting a messenger, but it is rejecting the Father and standing in opposition to all that He had said. Accepting or rejecting Jesus really comes down to accepting or rejecting God Himself. There is not difference. There is no splitting of hairs. They is no way around one to the other. This is simply how it is, and the only way to be saved is to accept both—to accept that the Son is sent by the Father and that what the Son said and did perfectly represents the will and the words of the Father. To do otherwise is to stand judged.

We are getting closer and closer to Easter. Easter is more than chocolates, new dresses, and eggs. It is a time when Christians around the world remember in a special way that what Jesus came to do He actually did do. It is simply stated in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “…Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:3–4, NASB95)

Because He lives we can live also. Jesus said, “believe.”

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