Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Reflection: John 12:44-50

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter – John 12:44-50

The words in today’s Scripture passage are from the section of John’s Gospel that describes Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem.  Jesus had come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover.  In the preceding verses, Jesus was preparing his disciples for what would happen to him in the next few days.  He told them that whoever believed in him also must believe in the One who sent him. Then Jesus said that his purpose for coming into this world was to be light.  Anyone who believed in Him would no longer be in darkness.  Jesus reassured his disciples that he had come not to condemn the world but to save the world.

Jesus also warned his disciples by saying that anyone who rejected him or did not believe his words would be judged by the word Jesus spoke. Jesus was very serious about this matter. He added that if a person rejected Him or did not accept His words, this individual would be condemned on the last day. These are extremely harsh words and, most likely, these are words we prefer not to listen to.  Whether we want to hear Jesus’ words or not, Jesus is telling us what the price will be if we don’t accept and believe in his words.

How seriously do I take Jesus’ words? Do I truly believe what Jesus is saying? Do His words make a difference in my life? Do I act on His words in my daily life? Or do I simply say, “I believe,” but there is no evidence of my belief in my daily life?

If we truly accept and believe what Jesus teaches, there should be some evidence in our lives of that belief. It might be seen in our actions or in how we treat people. Are we loving and inclusive or are we harsh and judgmental? Are we loving and accepting of others, even when we may not agree with their beliefs or actions? Do we live out what Jesus teaches us by forgiving a person who has hurt us deeply? Do we reach out to people who are lonely or isolated?

We are not Jesus, but we do have the power to share Jesus’ love, forgiveness, care and acceptance with the people in our lives. How will we do that today?

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