In the Apostle John’s gospel we find the Son of God speaking about what His ancient prophets spoke and wrote and His future apostles would speak and write. Their words would, upon their final recording and compilation, become the standard by which mankind will be measured. In the 12th chapter, beginning with verse 44, we find the Lord Himself telling the people of the world exactly how to qualify for eternal life. In our quest for salvation, let us obey His command to study His Word “… precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little” (Isa. 28:10-13). Note that God, speaking through Isaiah, prefaces His no-exception rule for studying His Word with a qualification found in verse 9. Here He states that He would give knowledge and understanding of His Truth only to those who are mature, those who earnestly seek His Truth–His Words (Jn. 17:17) with the intention of believing and obeying them. Note that He repeated His Bible study rules in verse 13. Recall that Joseph told Pharaoh that because God had given him two dreams relative to the future, what he dreamed would surely come to pass. By repeating His study rules He is telling us that that they are sure and unalterable. Now let us “Study to show yourself (ourselves) approved of God” as we are commanded to do in 2 Thessalonians 2:15.
Verse 44– Jesus “cried out” His life-or-death-producing statement to those who have an ear to hear–are “weaned from the milk and drawn from the breast”–mature. In this verse He notes that He and His Father are in perfect agreement. To believe in one is to believe in both. Contrarywise, to doubt one is to doubt both. In the following six verses He will make abundantly clear that believing in the Godhead in and of itself has no effect on the believer’s eternity. To the “only believe” and the “sinner saved by grace” religionist, Jesus was either wrong or mistaken. But fear not, church doctrine has corrected His errors. A good example of how church doctrine has saved the day came during a t.v. interview with a man who had been asked about his spiritual condition. His reply was that he was in good stead with God because: “I believe in Jesus.” We are told that believing in Jesus is enough. Is it? Let Jesus Himself answer the question.
Verse 45– Jesus was not merely a Speaker of Words; He was also a doer of those Words. He left no doubt that we must follow in His footsteps if we are to sit with Him on His throne (Rev. 3:21). In James 1:22 Jesus, speaking through the apostle, said that in order to qualify for salvation one must be a “… doer of the Word and not a hearer only” (Jam. 1:22). Then He said that one must be a doer of the work (vs. 25). The Lord also said that one must be a doer of the Law (Rom. 2:13) in order to inherit eternal life. Note that in each command, God uses “THE” to define the exact WORD, WORK AND LAW that must be “done” in order to receive eternal life. WORD, WORK AND THE LAW are, as He tells us on numerous occasions, one in the same. In each case He is referring to THE (one and only) STANDARD we must OBEY in order to enter God’s kingdom. In saying, “He who sees Me, sees Him Who sent Me,” Jesus was saying that, “Like Father–like Son” perfectly applied to Them. They were and are the perfect image of each other in both acts and Words. We must be the perfect image of Jesus of Nazareth if we are to join Him. Few, He warns, will answer God’s call to enter His gate and walk His way to the kingdom (Mat. 20:16; 7:13,14).
The Apostle John writes 1 John 2:6 that if we claim to be Christ’s spiritual brethren (friends) we must “walk as He walked.” Let us hear the Messiah clearly: HE DIED ONLY FOR HIS FRIENDS. Notice that He identifies as His friends those who “… DO WHATSOEVER I COMMAND YOU” (Jn. 15:13,14). Notice also that He was talking to His hand-picked disciples. Note also that He used the word “IF” in reference to their future. Their present status had nothing to do with their future status. Remember, Judas was one of them. Like the 12 disciples, we must DO WHATSOEVER HE COMMANDS US TO DO. The ultimate question then becomes: WHAT DID HE COMMAND US TO DO?
Verse 46– Jesus came to earth as a LIGHT that would show the world the difference between the Father’s right (light) way and Satan’s wrong (dark) way. He then states that in order to receive eternal life one must not remain in darkness. Simply put: His light (Word) produces life, Satan’s darkness (word) produces death. God’s light is the Holy Bible; Satan’s darkness is church doctrine along with the doctrines of the world’s other heathen religions. Jesus goes on to say that those who believe in Him must come out of darkness–STOP SINNING. We are no different from the prostitute whom Jesus commanded to “Go and SIN NO MORE.” If a prostitute, who did not know who Jesus was, can stop sinning, surely those of us who know who He is can do so. The same is true of the man at the Pool of Bethesda who had never heard of Him. After healing him Jesus gave him the same command He had given the prostitute–he was to “… go sin no more lest a worse disease come upon you.” Let us earnestly take the Words of the Lord seriously lest we fail to enter into His Father’s kingdom upon His return. L.J.