47 If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. 49 For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. John 12:47-49 NASB
This passage was part of the daily readings yesterday. It was verse 47 that struck me: "If anyone hears My sayings & does not keep them, I do not judge him.". What? Does that mean people who "hear" but don't "do" are off the hook? Why bother striving to live for God if our response doesn't matter?
In verse 48, Jesus says "He who rejects Me & does not receive My sayings, has One Who judges him.". So that would mean hearing, accepting & receiving the Word is the element that changes the tide, right? At first, I saw two separate scenarios- good versus evil, innocence versus guilt. But I came to realize the one who hears & does not do is just as guilty as the one who rejects & does not receive.
Jesus came into the world to save it, not to judge it. This implies that He answers to someone higher. That Someone is none other than God the Father, Who Jesus reveals to us in verse 49. He speaks the Father's Words by command & by those very words, we will be judged. If Jesus doesn't judge us, why are we so afraid to embrace Him? If Jesus is the only Salvation given to us by God, how much more should we love God & reverence Him for His great mercy? If we reject the Way, what's left for us but wrath?