[New to our exegesis of John’s Gospel? Try starting at The Beginning — see top menu for John 1:1-2].
22 In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge, 23 so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent him.
24 “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.
25 “And I assure you that the time is coming, indeed it’s here now, when the dead will hear my voice—the voice of the Son of God. And those who listen will live. 26 The Father has life in himself, and he has granted that same life-giving power to his Son. 27 And he has given him authority to judge everyone because he is the Son of Man. 28 Don’t be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, 29 and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment. 30 I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will.
22 οὐδὲ γὰρ ὁ πατὴρ κρίνει οὐδένα, ἀλλὰ τὴν κρίσιν πᾶσαν δέδωκεν τῷ υἱῷ,23 ἵνα πάντες τιμῶσι τὸν υἱὸν καθὼς τιμῶσι τὸν πατέρα. ὁ μὴ τιμῶν τὸν υἱὸν οὐ τιμᾷ τὸν πατέρα τὸν πέμψαντα αὐτόν.
24 Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ὁ τὸν λόγον μου ἀκούων καὶ πιστεύων τῷ πέμψαντί με ἔχει ζωὴν αἰώνιον, καὶ εἰς κρίσιν οὐκ ἔρχεται ἀλλὰ μεταβέβηκεν ἐκ τοῦ θανάτου εἰς τὴν ζωήν.
25 Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ἔρχεται ὥρα καὶ νῦν ἐστιν ὅτε οἱ νεκροὶ ἀκούσουσιν τῆς φωνῆς τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ οἱ ἀκούσαντες ζήσουσιν.26 ὥσπερ γὰρ ὁ πατὴρ ἔχει ζωὴν ἐν ἑαυτῷ, οὕτως καὶ τῷ υἱῷ ἔδωκεν ζωὴν ἔχειν ἐν ἑαυτῷ· 27 καὶ ἐξουσίαν ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ κρίσιν ποιεῖν, ὅτι υἱὸς ἀνθρώπου ἐστίν. 28 μὴ θαυμάζετε τοῦτο, ὅτι ἔρχεται ὥρα ἐν ᾗ πάντες οἱ ἐν τοῖς μνημείοις ἀκούσουσιν τῆς φωνῆς αὐτοῦ 29 καὶ ἐκπορεύσονται οἱ τὰ ἀγαθὰ ποιήσαντες εἰς ἀνάστασιν ζωῆς, οἱ δὲ τὰ φαῦλα πράξαντες εἰς ἀνάστασιν κρίσεως.
30 Οὐ δύναμαι ἐγὼ ποιεῖν ἀπ’ ἐμαυτοῦ οὐδέν· καθὼς ἀκούω κρίνω, καὶ ἡ κρίσις ἡ ἐμὴ δικαία ἐστίν, ὅτι οὐ ζητῶ τὸ θέλημα τὸ ἐμὸν ἀλλὰ τὸ θέλημα τοῦ πέμψαντός με.
In the passage just prior to this one we learned that Jesus is the Son who exists in a relationship of love with the Father. Everything is given to him, and he does nothing without the Father — both are true.
Today, we see that Jesus is also the judge vindicating the Good, but the opposite is also true — those who reject the Son will not find the Life (John 3:19-21; 5:24). To listen to Jesus and believe results in Life! To reject the Son is to reject God and leads to the opposite of Life.
We find here what theologians call Realized Eschatology: the Kingdom of God is manifested in Jesus in a way that is “here and not yet.” On the Day of Yahweh, it was believed there would be a final judgment of those who go to Life Eternal or to death. In Jesus, we find a current manifestation of the Kingdom of God that reflects its fullness exemplified in healings and even resurrections, and yet the Kingdom is also not yet evidenced by suffering and tyranny — for the time is coming. Life, death, judgment, and condemnation are all consistent themes with this End Time, and Jesus is the God-Man at the center of it, but its full manifestation and the final battle over death is yet to come.
How can the Kingdom of God be here and not yet at the same time? Well, this would appear to be our daily experience! We pray to God and experience the Lord’s presence, even healings of sorts, and yet we continue to suffer, experience tragic events, and eventually die. The presence of God is real — we find direction, strength, support, and courage — and evil seems still very much a part of our world.
Why do we live in this in-between time?
I don’t know.
Perhaps it is to prepare us for something else…but I have no idea what or why.
All I do know is the palpable love of God that flows in and through me and grounds me in Something more than is in the world. As if touching the hem of the Lord’s garment for now, but later embracing the fullness of God’s Reality. And this gives me….HOPE!
Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. — 1 Cor. 13:12.