“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”
Last year, Amazon launched their Kindle device. It’s a gadget that has a special screen designed for reading digital books. Not only that, but it has built in wireless to enable a Kindle owner to buy books from Amazon and have them automatically transmitted to their device. As a bit of a gadget lover, and a book lover, I was tempted to buy one. They’re just so expensive, though, that I didn’t think I could justify the cost. Now lots of technology journalists are saying that 2010 is the year of the e-reader. They believe that by the end of the year they will have hit the mainstream in a big way. They point to the rumoured launch of Apple’s iSlate tablet PC on 27th January as the event that will make e-readers the must have gadget of the year. Of course, so often new technology promises so much, yet so often it fails to deliver. Either it does not live up to expectations, or it’s flawed in some way, or else it really isn’t the world changer that everyone thought it would be.
Jesus’ promises are infinitely more trustworthy than the claims made by technology companies. When Jesus promises something, you know that he can be trusted. When he starts a sentence, “I tell you the truth,” it almost seems to give even greater credibility to the words that follow. So when Jesus says, as he does in today’s reading, that “whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned, it is worth sitting up and paying attention! We all deserve to be condemned by God, since we all sin and break his rules for living. Yet if we heed the words of Jesus and believe in God, then not only are we promised eternal life, but we’re told we already have it. This life we’re living now IS eternal life! Death is a mere blip on the timeline of our lives, a gateway to the next stage! What an exciting thought! Of course, that leaves us with quite an important choice; do we listen to Jesus, study his words carefully, and believe in God? Or do we put it to the back of our minds, and think maybe we’ll consider following God later? There seems to me to be only one option – and that is to do as Jesus says!
Remember that choice that you have to make. Have you chosen to hear Jesus’ words and believe in God? Has this changed your life? Or do you ignore the words of Christ and put off following God for later?