“FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD” Thoughts from today’s Bible readings – October 11th
Following on from yesterday’s thoughts, today [Sunday] in John 3 v.34 we read “for he whom God has sent utters the words of God” Jesus does not speak of himself, he represents God, but many churches make the mistake of saying that he is God! We read that Jesus is the “word (that) became flesh” [John 1 v.14] – that is God’s messages came to us through “flesh” – his son – and not through an angel or a voice from the top of mount Sinai. So we have in today’s reading those words so often quoted, but again often not correctly understood, “for God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”
Notice what we have put in italics. If you don’t believe in Jesus, and your actions show this, you have no future apart from what this life offers, and all who do this, when they die they perish. But, wonderfully, if we believe in Jesus, we joyfully do what Jesus asks and show that we believe in him. Let us not feel it is in some way ‘unfair’ of God not to provide a middle way
This is what Jesus told Nicodemus, the ruler of the Jews who came to him in the night, “Truly, truly, I say unto you, unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God”
We are born of water through baptism, and then – we are transformed in our attitudes as we develop an increasingly wonderful spiritual relationship with God – and sense the utter commitment of mind Jesus developed in offering himself as the ultimate sacrifice for us, so that we become adopted sons and daughters of the Creator of all that exists.
All those who have been reborn have responded to how “God so loved the world” by developing a new attitude of mind, praying and feeding on God’s word every day – being ever more conscious of the words of Jesus that his followers should “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come” [Luke 12:36]