"I did not come into the world to judge people. I came to save the people in the world. So I am not the one that judges the people who hear my teaching but don't obey. There is a judge for the person that refuses to believe in me and does not accept what I say. The message I have taught will judge that person on the last day. Why? Because the things I taught were not from myself. The Father (God) who sent me told me what to say and what to teach. And I know that eternal life comes from what the Father commands. So the things I say are what the Father told me to say."
— John 12:47-50
Would you listen to a message if your life depended upon it? Would you follow the instructions carefully? Jesus makes clear that he speaks God's truth. What we do with that truth has eternal consequences and benefits. While obedience may not be a popular concept in modern culture, Jesus reminds us that it is essential that we obey his teaching. God longs to save us through Jesus. He is not looking to trip us up on some fine point of Jesus' teaching that we missed. But, our hearts need to be willing to do all that Jesus says because obedience is a blessing—it protects us from some things that we should never have to face and leads us to blessings that are found only when we do things God's way. Jesus' words are important! We should listen to them as if eternity depends on what we do with them—because it does!
Holy and loving Father, thank you for revealing your will in human words taught us by Jesus. Open my mind to understand Jesus' teaching more completely and open my heart to accept those words more willingly as I commit to live by Jesus' words more completely. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
Jesus did all these many miracles. The people saw these things, but they still did not believe in him. This was to make clear the full meaning of what Isaiah the prophet said: "Lord, who believed the things we told them? Who has seen the Lord's power?" This is why the people could not believe. Because Isaiah also said, "God made the people blind. God closed their minds. God did this so that they will not see with their eyes and understand with their minds. God did this so that they would not turn and be healed." Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus' glory. So Isaiah spoke about him. But many people believed in Jesus. Even many of the Jewish leaders believed in Jesus. But they were afraid of the Pharisees. So they did not say openly that they believed. They were afraid that they would be put out of the synagogue. These men loved praise from people more than praise from God. Then Jesus said loudly, "The person that believes in me is really believing in the One (God) who sent me. The person that sees me is really seeing the One who sent me. I am light, and I came into this world. I came so that every person that believes in me would not stay in darkness. "I did not come into the world to judge people. I came to save the people in the world. So I am not the one that judges the people who hear my teaching but don't obey. There is a judge for the person that refuses to believe in me and does not accept what I say. The message I have taught will judge that person on the last day. Why? Because the things I taught were not from myself. The Father (God) who sent me told me what to say and what to teach. And I know that eternal life comes from what the Father commands. So the things I say are what the Father told me to say."
Related Scripture Readings
Jesus knew that his followers were complaining about this. So Jesus said, "Is this teaching a problem for you? Then will it also be a problem for you to see the Son of Man going back to the place where he came from? It is not the body that gives a person life. It is the spirit that gives life. The things I told you are spirit. And so these things give life. But some of you don't believe." (Jesus knew the people that did not believe. Jesus knew this from the beginning. And Jesus knew the person that would turn against him.) Jesus said, "That is why I said, 'If the Father does not let a person come to me, then that person cannot come.'" After Jesus said these things, many of his followers left him. They stopped following Jesus. Jesus asked the twelve apostles, "Do you want to leave too?" Simon Peter answered Jesus, "Lord, where would we go? You have the things that give life forever. We believe in you. We know that you are the Holy One from God."
So Jesus came to them and said, "All authority (power) in heaven and on earth is given to me. So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach those people to obey everything that I have told you. You can be sure that I will be with you always. I will continue with you until the end of the world."
"Every person that hears these things I say and obeys is like a wise man. The wise man built his house on rock. It rained hard and the water rose. The winds blew and hit that house. But the house did not fall, because the house was built on rock. But the person that hears the things I teach and does not obey those things is like a foolish man. The foolish man built his house on sand. It rained hard, the water rose, and the winds blew and hit that house. And the house fell with a loud noise." When Jesus finished saying these things, the people were amazed at his teaching.