“Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father.”
I was puzzled,beloved, by the opening verse of this scripture excerpt. When I sit down to comment on a passage, I want to be sure I am understanding it thoroughly and to understand how commentators have explained its meaning. I discovered it is not that God has abdicated all authority and ability to judge, but that God uses Christ as a medium to engage with the world and judge it. It is the same sort theological logic that is in verse 21 (which is not part of this scripture excerpt) that both God and Jesus Christ raise the dead. And once I had parsed out the meaning, it seemed quite natural to continue looking at the rest of the verses in the same manner.
“He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.”
This verse then confirms verse 22, and verse 21. God the Parent (amended for inclusive terminology) and Jesus the Son are deserving of the same honor. I will admit, beloved, every once in a while I have to remind myself that my triune theology is not necessarily a theology that everyone claims as their own. It has been so ingrained into me. God as separate aspects as opposed to three individual identities can be confusing. Especially when there, I assume, different strains of triune theology.
“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him [God] who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he [the believing person] has crossed over from death to life.”
Now that we have our pronouns straight, note carefully beloved that this does not mean you or I will not be judged, but that on that judgment we will not be condemned! It is when we have acknowledged, accepted, confessed, and change our ways that our condemnation is taken away. As it says other places, even demons and all manner of evil ones acknowledge God and Christ, but that acknowledgment alone does not and will not save them. Note also that it does not mean the formerly condemned will not die, nor will they be saved from the toils and tribulations of life, but that death will not have power over them. That from death they will pass into new life.
“I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.” (Reference: John 5:22-25 )
Here, beloved, the meanings and interpretations become theological. Those who are dead in the body will not be reanimated. It is those whose feelings, actions, sentiments, and emotions have become deadened by problems, worries, sin, evil etc that will be renewed. On the day of this writing I was coming out of some minor problems of my own. Minor, I say, because God’s voice and reassurance brought me back from worry and concern. Do you not think, beloved, do not know that the evil one will try and do all sorts of things. Not because we are destined to serve evil or that we have gone so far astray, nor any other condemnable thing. It is simply that evil one seeks to cause sorrow and sadness when possible. It is God’s voice and God’s reassurance that brings us back from dark places, and does not condemn us for that IF we believe that God is God and that God’s promise to us prevails. And this belief is not based on whimsy or human might, but on the power of God. Rock solid!
I have not cited the historic Anabaptists on this verse. There are some verses that each of us should consider from our own perspective. Escape from condemnation is based on our own belief and not those we inherit from the past or borrow from the future. May you this day beloved confirm who you believe in, and may that faith preserve you all of your days and into the eternal days to come. Selah!