Wednesday 21 April 2010

Bible Book:

"This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day." (v.40)

John 6:35-40 Wednesday 21 April 2010


The Gospel of John is a complex and subtle book, and many of thepassages are meant to be taken at more than one level. Clearly whenJesus says that those who come to him will never be hungry orthirsty the meaning is not about physical hunger. The invitation isto have inner questions and desires met - to have life, that isn'tphysical life, satisfied.

Jesus promises that those who believe in the Son will have eternallife. "The Son" most naturally is understood as the Son of God.When Jesus says "I will raise them up" he is making a claim to bethe Son of God. There is a sense in which the Son of God could meananyone, and in some places in the Bible that is the natural senseof the phrase - some translations of Matthew 5:9 refer to "sons ofGod". In John's Gospel though, something different is meant. Thegift of eternal life and the promise of resurrection are somethingthat only God can do. The Son of God in John's Gospel is given thepowers of God, and from this sort of understanding comes thedevelopment of the doctrine of the Trinity (God as Father, Son andHoly Spirit).

This talk of life only makes sense if we allow time to reflect ondeath. For the person who believes in Jesus the promise is life,not death. For the one who believes in Jesus, death is not the end,life continues. John also mentions the 'last day'. This is hisbelief that there will be a day when this current world ends and anew one will start. It will involve judgement of people and theconsequences of judgement. Those who believe in Jesus will be giventhe privilege of life, those who don't will face the end of life.Many people are not comfortable with this idea of a last day withthe implication of judgement, but it is a real strand of thoughtthroughout the Bible.

To Ponder

When people are afraid of death, are they afraidof dying and the consequences of dying, or are they afraid of notliving? Is there a difference?

What makes a good death?

What, in your opinion, are the things God willjudge us by?

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