For the audio version: https://youtu.be/bNdWgHHjb3M
Prepare to Listen. Remind yourself of God’s promise: I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Prayerfully Read John 12:44-50
44Then Jesus cried aloud: ‘Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. 47I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48The one who rejects me and does not receive my word has a judge; on the last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge, 49for I have not spoken on my own, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak. 50And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me.’
“Then Jesus cried aloud.” This is the only time that Jesus cried aloud. It’s a fitting way to bring his public ministry to a conclusion. These words, loudly spoken, summarize many of the themes in Jesus’ teaching. They’re shaped in the form of a challenge to believe in Jesus, not merely about him. The purpose of John’s Gospel is that “you may come to/continue to believe” (Jn 20:31). Thus, it’s not surprising that the call in this concluding summary is to believe in Jesus.
How will we know we believe in, not merely about Jesus, and thus in the Father who sent him? Those who believe in Jesus, who came as light into the world (Jn 1:9), will no longer remain in darkness. We’ve read about Nicodemus who came to see Jesus in literal darkness and discovered his spiritual darkness and inability to see Jesus. The Gospel ends when Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb in the darkness of early morning and discovers her spiritual darkness as she too failed to see Jesus. Jesus brought them out of that darkness into the light and Mary, perhaps even Nicodemus, believed in Jesus.
Believing in Jesus transforms us so that we live a life that is Jesus’ life, learning to live the way Jesus lived, choosing love over hate, peace over violence, truth over lies, light over darkness, every single day. And when we fail, and we will fail, we repent and try again. It takes practice, repetitive practice to believe in Jesus.
What common themes did you see in these few verses? What repentance are you called to?
Respond to Jesus
Lord Jesus, you came in love and light and truth. You call all of us who claim your Name, to walk in love and light and truth. May I pursue this today. Amen.
Go live obediently in the world. Practice belief in Jesus.
Reflection on Scripture has been a constant in my life ever since I can remember. Reflecting on Jesus in the Gospels has become a necessity to get Jesus right. Join me in reading John to see Jesus more clearly this Lent.