Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 26:1-28:25, John 11:1-54, Psalm 117:1-2 Proverbs 15:22-23
Jesus made a completely outlandish claim in John 11.
25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. 26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.
Up to this point, everyone who had died was still dead. In addition to Lazarus, I remember two instances where Jesus brought back people from death – the son of the widow at Nain and Jairus’ daughter, but do we know if those events had already occurred when Jesus made this statement? In any case, Jesus promised eternal life to all who believe in Him. That seems to be the key issue here – not keeping the commandments, not being born into a particular race, not age, marital status, birth cirucumstances or geographical location. It’s all about belief.
In other places in scripture, we receive instructions about how we are to live – the ten commandments, Jesus’ statements about the greatest commandment, instructions in Acts about dietary habits for gentiles, etc. But from Jesus’ discourse here, it certainly sounds like everything starts with belief – faith that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be and that He has the power and the right to offer eternal life to all who believe in Him.
I’m off to church this morning to celebrate Pentecost Sunday. I think it is time to commit myself once again to believe first, and to trust that everything Jesus promised will follow.