November 22, 2023 – Wednesday
John 3:36 NKJV
36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
John 3:36 ESV
36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
John 3:36 AMP
36 He who believes and trusts in the Son and accepts Him [as Savior] has eternal life [that is, already possesses it]; but he who does not believe the Son and chooses to reject Him, [disobeying Him and denying Him as Savior] will not see [eternal] life, but [instead] the wrath of God hangs over him continually.”
I have chosen John 3:36 for today’s Verse of the Day because of the word obey in many (the majority) versions. But as shown above, what the ESV and others translate as does not obey or disobedience is also translated as does not believe or rejects Jesus. Then the Amplified (AMP) gives us does not believe the Son and chooses to reject Him, [disobeying Him and denying Him as Savior] covering almost all versions.
Looking deeper, we find both are from the Greek apeitheó which in Strong’s Concordance is G544 which means to disobey and literally refuse to be persuaded (by the Lord). Thayer’s Greek Lexicon adds, not to allow oneself to be persuaded; not to comply with; plus a. to refuse or withhold belief and b. to refuse belief and obedience. When I look and think about the definitions, it appears to me that rejecting Christ Jesus is a terrible form of disobedience leading the wrath of God remaining for that person in the next life.
But what does it mean to obey Jesus beyond believing in Him and accepting Him as Lord and Savior. Number one it means turning away from a life of sin and turning towards God. Repentance is a U-Turn of sorts from sin towards God. If you are still not sure, use Micah 6:8 as a starting point,
8 He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God.
Why turn to the Old Testament for an answer to the question? Because it is the Bible Jesus and the apostles knew and used. For instance, Micah 6:8 is not quoted directly in the New Testament, but you will find its message in what the Lord requires of us reiterated in a number of verses. Here is an example of Jesus doing so in both Matthew and Luke, followed by the writing of James:
Matthew 23:23, 23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.
Luke 11:42, 42 But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.
James 2:13, 12 So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
And we cannot neglect Jesus’ answer to the question, What is the greatest commandment. He answered in Matthew 22:37-40, 37 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.
Jesus is the prime example of putting Micah 6:8 into practice as may be seen by His life as described in Philippians 2:5-8, 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Bottom Line: Not sure how to live as a faithful Christian? Start by following Micah 6:8, then the example of Jesus and that of Paul as he follows Christ (see 1 Corinthians 1:11). Let your daily walk reflect your faith in your Savior, day in and day out.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your incredible mercy through You Son Jesus. Help us to walk in ways that please and glorify You. And when we stumble and fall, help us up once again as we seek to do Your will in our lives. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Still writing and working for the Glory of God