God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have [aiónios, age-long] life. God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him isn’t judged; whoever doesn’t believe in him is already judged, because they don’t believe in the name of God’s only Son.
“This is the basis for judgment: The light came into the world, and people loved darkness more than the light, for their actions are evil. All who do wicked things hate the light and don’t come to the light for fear that their actions will be exposed to the light. Whoever does the truth comes to the light so that it can be seen that their actions were done in God.”
John really builds upon the light/dark theme in this reading. And it’s a shame that the lectionary split up this conversation. It really should be read in its entirety.
A lot of people get hung up on this passage. They feel that it excludes so many people from the life of G_d’s Realm. But I don’t see it that way. Jesus is contrasting the life of G_d’s Realm with human life. If people don’t believe in Jesus now, they aren’t judged in the future. They’re judged now. But what does that mean?
It doesn’t meant being in conscious torture forever. Jesus isn’t comparing one’s existence after they leave this material realm. He’s contrasting the life one has now. In other words, one can have the life of G_d’s Realm now or human life. But how does one obtain the life of G_d’s Realm? By believing in Christ. What does that look like?
Notice the contrasting picture Jesus paints in the last paragraph. Believing is not just what we think about Jesus. Believing is how we act. Our beliefs form our actions. The belief that Jesus refers to is believing that his way of being human is the better way. One’s action then reflect that better way.
So the question that one has to ask oneself is, “Do my actions reflect my belief?”
In the Love of the Three in One,
Br. Jack+, LC