The Gospel According to John – 2018.03.11
The Gift, without Strings
Remember this: the salvation of the world was not worked out by lawyers, and it does not take place in the context of a battle between the forces of good, and the forces of evil.
We are not choosing sides in a cosmic conflict between God, the creator of the universe and the enemy.
The salvation of the world is not a magic act, it is healing. It is a false proposition to say that Jesus had to be lifted up, as Moses lifted the serpent, so that the preconditions for belief in him could be established, so that upon expressing belief in Jesus, regarding the teaching about him, the people of the world could receive the “golden ticket” granting them access to eternal life.
The gift of life is not transactional. It is free. We do not have to ask for it, just as we did not ask to be born. Like true love, eternal life comes to us without preconditions.
God, the creator of the universe, came to us in the person of Jesus. If you trust in the teachings of Jesus you will find peace in this world, you will understand that the things we endure here: pain, suffering, alienation, uncertainty, hunger, disease and death, these are all temporary. This is the heart of the gospel.
Belief, is not required to gain entrance to heaven, belief allows us to see the world of light and life beyond the veil of materiality that we are all entrenched in.
There is no condemnation in God, or in the ministry of Jesus. There is only hope and love, and mercy.
No one is condemned because they refuse to believe in the scriptures, in Christian doctrine, or the dogma of the church.
In fact we should question every point of doctrine, and only accept those teaching which we have vetted for ourselves for their sensibility and veracity.
God continuously pours out the divine love on all creation. No-one is beyond its reach.
There is no magic power in a name, or an article of belief. However, if you do not trust in the way of Jesus, and trust is the meaning of faith, if you are not able to trust in it and you are selfish, instead of giving you are malicious, instead of loving you are harmful, then you will suffer in this world, not as a punishment for what you did or did not do, but as the natural consequence for that type of behavior.
Faith in Jesus, should be liberation in the here and now, freedom in the present reality, it is a blessing to everyone who comes to it, and to all whom they encounter.
God sent his Son so that through him the world might be saved
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
‘The Son of Man must be lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.
Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world, but so that through him the world might be saved.
No one who believes in him will be condemned; but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already, because he has refused to believe in the name of God’s only Son.
On these grounds is sentence pronounced: that though the light has come into the world men have shown they prefer darkness to the light because their deeds were evil.
And indeed, everybody who does wrong hates the light and avoids it, for fear his actions should be exposed; but the man who lives by the truth comes out into the light, so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God.’
4th Sunday of Lent