#DailyDevotion Do You Want To Never Die?
Joh 8:48-51 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” (49) Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. (50) Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. (51) Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”
The Jewish leadership is really trying to provoke Jesus here. Calling Jesus a Samaritan was a typical Jewish insult. On top of that they say he is possessed by a demon. Jesus ignores the first but goes after the second. He lets them know that he is operating not by demonic powers but by the power of the Father on high. He charges them with dishonoring the Father because they are dishonoring the Son. The Father and the Son are one. We might not get it these days because we live in a world without shame (at least for the things that actually matter). But not that long ago what children did reflected upon the parents and vice-versa. Jesus honors the Father with his teaching and with his works.
Yet Jesus with his teaching and his works is not seeking his own glory but the Father’s glory. However, the Father does seek to glorify Jesus. The Father will glorify Jesus on the cross. There God the Father will show his mercy, kindness and faithfulness toward Israel and all mankind. There the One who judges judged Jesus as guilty for our rebellion though he was innocent and declared us not guilty.
It is this Jesus who tells us, “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” There’s that ‘keep’ word again. We saw it last week. In some places it means to do, but in many places in means to cherish, guard, and hold fast to. In the context it means to cherish. In the gospel of John in the context here of not seeing death, it is related to believing, having faith in Jesus’ word.
We see elsewhere concerning not dying, Joh 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” 5:24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” 6:47 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.” 11:26 “…and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” In these passages, not dying is connected to having faith in Jesus. If having faith in Jesus gives eternal life and keeping Jesus’ word gives eternal life then the two are related.
We should not here that in both keeping Jesus’ word and believing Jesus’ word eternal life is not a future thing. Eternal life is a present gift. Jesus is our life and he takes his abode in us. The Spirit is life and he takes his abode in us. The Father is life and he takes his abode in us. It is because of the indwelling of God that have eternal life. Adam and Eve when they rebelled lost that indwelling and went from life to death. They died that very instant they rebelled against God. They lost his life. Jesus in giving himself to us reverses that. So that while Adam and Eve died the moment the disobeyed the Lord and did not die physically until many years later. When we are given faith, immediately we possess the life of God, yet we do not receive out immortal bodies until Christ returns. Yet we do not die. Christians, those who keep Jesus’ word and believe it do not experience death like unbelievers for we do not die. Jesus says as much in 11:26.
So while our mortal body is wasting away day by day, we need not fear death. We cannot die. We have eternal life. We are being renewed inwardly day by day by the Spirit of Life whom Jesus poured out on us. We wait for the resurrection in which the life we possess is made manifest.
Heavenly Father, grant unto us the gift of eternal life through faith and keeping your Son’s word unto life everlasting. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.