Perhaps the best-known verse in the Bible is John 3:16. It says that if we believe in Jesus we will experience life eternal. What could be simpler; we just need to believe. God does the hard part, providing a way for us to live forever with him. How cool is that?
The verse that follows this one is not well known at all, but it is likewise significant. It says Jesus’ mission is not to condemn us but to save us. His goal is not judgement but liberation. His mission is one of rescue and we are who he seeks to rescue. He wants to save us.
Look at Jesus’ life. He loves people; he encourages them; he wants the best for them. Jesus does not judge people; he does not condemn them. In fact, the only people Jesus is even critical of are the religious leaders who point the masses in the wrong direction, who make faith hard.
Despite Jesus’ disapproving words to these misguided spiritual gurus, he stops short of condemning them. I’m quite sure he wants to save them, too.
Jesus doesn’t condemn others, so neither should we.
Jesus wants to save everyone; all we need to do is believe.
Read more in Peter’s new book, Living Water: 40 Reflections on Jesus’s Life and Love from the Gospel of John, available everywhere in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.