One of the things I like to do as I read the scriptures is write down just one thing, one quick takeaway from the section. For me, it’s a process that helps me move from simply reading the Word to allowing the Word to read me.
It’s a simple practice that anybody can do, it helps to reinforce what I’ve read, and it gives me an opportunity to engage with what the Holy Spirit might be trying to teach me.
This is my “quick thought” from today’s reading in John 5-6.
“I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.” ~John 5:24
Life is “already” here! Do I live into that truth, or do I fixate on things that will “never” happen?
I fear that we treat our time on earth as if it’s a long wait for the life God promises through Jesus. Too often we talk about eternal life as if God has dropped us off at the back of a long winding amusement park line that twists and turns until you get into a building only to find it snakes through another labyrinth of stairs, and ramps. Or, we mistakenly frame eternal life as if we’re currently living in the middle of a long run-on sentence and desperately waiting for God to get to the point, but this is not how Jesus describes life.
“Life” isn’t something we’re waiting for, it’s not some mystical “hereafter.” It’s already here, and we can experience it right now by listening and trusting the message of Jesus. That’s the Life Jesus invites us to participate in when he calls us to “follow him.” It’s a Life that’s already here!
Life and condemnation are never compatible! That’s the good news; we don’t get the condemnation we deserve, instead we get Life. In “Life” there is never condemnation for sins!
Our ways of dealing with sin are very different than God’s ways, but I fear we confuse the two and instead project our mistaken views of condemnation onto God. We look at sin and say “surely there are times it needs to be called out, judged, shamed, and condemned,” but if we live as if Jesus was speaking truth than condemnation of sins is never a reality. It’s not a trick, there are no loopholes, “never” is all-encompassing, it’s an absolute, never means never!
Jesus dealt with sin on the cross once for all. He submitted himself to our ways of dealing with sin so that we could know Life without condemnation. We judged him, we shamed him, we condemned him, and “for the joy set before him” he submitted himself to our version of condemnation so that all could know life through him!
Life has already begun, and condemnation is never compatible with Life. Now, we get to live “Life” in the here, now, and ever after!
This is what I heard in today’s reading, what did you hear?
#John5:24 #John3:17 #Romans6:10 #Romans8:1 #Hebrews12:2