Jesus is the Saviour of the world. So many times we hear these words and yet so many Christians still live in fear of judgement. They worry about “hellfire and damnation” and in years gone by this seemed to be one of the major topics from the pulpit. The focus seemed to be more on terrorising the flock into submission rather than recognising the salvation of the Lord.
However in this section of scripture we see an entirely different picture painted. Judgement, hellfire and brimstone is not what Jesus came for and is not what He preached. Instead we see a Saviour full of love and compassion who came to help and save His people. In this section we get a powerful insight into the Lord’s purpose and ministry.
Jesus Came Not to Judge
Verse 47 in this section says it clearly.
If any one 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.
Jesus did not come to judge the world, He came to save the world. He came so that those who would believe in Him and follow His teachings would have the chance to be saved from death, which is the end result of all mankind.
He came to save man to eternal life and promised to set them free from the bondage to sin and death, if we have faith.
These are not the actions of a judge. These are the actions of a Saviour whose desire and will is for His people to find peace, joy and love and to live a life in the blessings and the presence of God.
But there is a judge for those who do not choose to follow the Lord. In verse 48 we see the following.
He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.
The words of Jesus will judge people on the last day. His teachings will stand as beacons against those who choose to reject Him.
There is also a second judge we see in John 5:45-47 where it says,
45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; it is Moses who accuses you, on whom you set your hope.
46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me.
47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”
When He speaks of Moses He is talking about the law given to Moses by God.
In Jesus we have been freed from sin and we have been freed from the law. But for those who are the adherents of the law, they shall be judged by the law. We see in the scripture above that Jesus again said that He was not going to judge the people which again shows that He is not a judge but a Saviour.
Jesus says that even those who followed the law should accept Jesus as the Saviour for the law and the writings and words of Moses pointed to Jesus as being the Saviour. He is showing that those who were faithful to the law would also be faithful to Jesus for both are based on faith.
The Pharisees were not being faithful to the law. They “used” the law to achieve their own desires rather than the will of God. Today we see so many “spin doctors” use similar techniques to the point where they say “evil is good.” I guess some things never change!
Listen to Jesus
Finally we see in verses 48-49 of John 12 that the words Jesus is speaking He did not speak on His own authority but He spoke the words given to Him by the Father.
49 For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak.
50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has bidden me.”
Two things come out of this for me. First, the words that the Father gave Jesus are designed to lead us to eternal life. If that is the case then it makes perfect sense to listen to what Jesus has to say. In fact it would be foolish to ignore such a promise.
The second thing I see is that the Father does not say a lot, but when He does He speaks volumes. So when the Father speaks it would make perfect sense again to listen to what He has to say.
I am reminded of the Transfiguration where the Father said very few words but gave us the most powerful message and direction we could get.
You may recall the Transfiguration scriptures, but if not you can look it up in Matthew 17:1-9. Jesus was transfigured and Moses and Elijah appeared talking with him. Peter, James and John were with Jesus and were overwhelmed by this sight and they made a classic mistake. They thought to make Moses and Elijah equal with Jesus.
Now Moses represented the law and Elijah represented the prophets. But God the Father came and overshadowed the disciples, teaching them and us where we are to focus. He said in Matthew 17:5,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
There are only fourteen words that the Father spoke, but in these He showed He was pleased with His Son and instructed the disciples to “LISTEN TO HIM.” Jesus is the focus of our faith. Jesus is the one we are to listen to and not allow anything or anyone dilute or take the place of His words and teachings, not even the law and the prophets.
When God the Father speaks as He did above, we should listen. And when He tells us to listen to Jesus, then we had better do exactly that.
So when Jesus says that what He is teaching is not His but the words of the Father, again we had better listen. Jesus did not come to judge but has come to save the world. And these are not just His words but the words of the Father. We would do well to listen and follow what He says.
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng taken by Simeon Eichmann)
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