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John15 – now is the hour

“Amen, amen I state to you, that an hour is coming—and is right now—when the dead ones will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those having heard will live.” 
The “you” mentioned here (in John’s first century eye-witness biography of Jesus) are religious Jerusalem leaders. They have just seen the wonderful restoration of a nameless man from 38 years of nigh-paralysis - so weak he could not move by himself. The religious strongly objected when he carried his mat on a Sabbath day. 

Jesus tells them that the “hour now is” when “the dead” (those without God’s life within, including these clerics) “will hear the voice of the Son of God and live”. Then he gives the reason why this is so.

“Because just as the Father has life in himself, in this way he also gave to the Son life to have in himself and he gave him authority to do judgment, in that he is the Son of Man.” 

So, what is the reason why “the dead”, if they “hear his voice”, “will live”? The reason is that the Father above has already “granted to the Son” (Jesus the human being) that same “life” which the Father has as eternal Almighty God. And the Son will (now is the hour) pass that eternal life to others.

Jesus is that “Son”. Others can also be like the restored nameless man – alive, then, with the life of God within. After all, he did hear “the voice of the Son of God”. So, even today, he “lives”. 
‘The judgment of God is going on wherever the word of God is being proclaimed; men and women are judging themselves according to their acceptance or rejection of Jesus.’ (Alan Richardson)
All this wonderful stuff is obtainable through Jesus for an additional reason. This is because the Father has “granted” to him (besides granting him “the Father’s life”) that he has “the authority to do judgment”, in giving or withholding that “life”. All things are naked and opened to the eyes of him with whom we have to do. It’s from him we may have life – and he’s the one who has the Father’s authority to do judgment, to give everlasting life.

“Do not be astonished in this, in that an hour is coming in which everyone in the tombs will hear his voice and they will depart out—those having done good things into a resurrection of life, in fact those having practiced wicked things into a resurrection of judgment.”

Jesus commands these religious leaders not to be astonished about a future resurrection for all human beings – some to “life”, some to “judgment”. That there is a righteous judgment to come is what sustains many suffering people in today’s world – suffering derived from those who in their earthly life “practiced the evil things”.

‘I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’M READY TO ACCEPT JESUS AS A GREAT MORAL TEACHER, BUT I DON’T ACCEPT HIS CLAIM TO BE GOD.  That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.’ (C S Lewis, writer and theologian, 1898-1963)
“I myself am able to do nothing from myself. Just as I hear, I judge, and my own judgment is righteous, in that I do not seek my own desire, but the desire of the one who sent me.”

Maybe the religious leaders in Jerusalem were thinking about this man, who had restored the 38-year-paralysed man: “will his judgment be righteous?” In responding, Jesus discloses the reason why all our human judgment is unrighteous: our judgments are biased towards what is our will for ourselves.

We all long for a national – or even world – leader who will not be self-seeking. He’s been here since AD 0. 

Sinner Syvret

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