Weekly Devotion – John 12:47

Published 10:01 pm Friday, October 29, 2021

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By Mike Caton

John 12:47, “If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.”

There are far too any people who see God as simply a judge, a stern, unforgiving, hateful, mean judge who takes great delight in passing out harsh punishment to anyone who comes before him. And maybe this is because some of God’s children act like they are his representatives on earth, condemning anyone and anything that does not meet their certain set of rules. There is no wonder people are turned off by church. And that is really a shame.

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Jesus tells us here, and in other places, he didn’t come to judge the world, but to save the world. Jesus knows this world is in a mess, he knows we have all fallen short, he knows we are all hell bound. Jesus didn’t come to remind us of that fact or to rub our faces in that, he came to offer us forgiveness, hope and a way out of this mess we have made for ourselves. Be careful, that is not to say we all get a skip on judgment, we will have to face judgment one day. And there will only be one right answer we can give on that day, and it will be evident by the life we have lived.

Jesus is speaking to those who hear his words and do not keep them, that ought to be a red flag to us. When we hear the words of Jesus, the words God has revealed to us, we need to heed to them, we need to listen, to learn, to practice what has been revealed to us. Jesus is not speaking about perfection here, he is speaking about commitment. He said in Matthew 7, if anyone hears these words of mine and puts them into practice, he is like a wise man who built his house upon the rock. That man has a solid foundation and the storms of life will not destroy his home. We need to build our lives on the words that Jesus has revealed to us. We need that solid foundation in our lives. We need the life that Jesus offers to us.

Father, help me hear and heed your words. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works part time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email mikecaton@centurylink.net.