Our scripture this morning is John 12:44-50.

Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”

Jesus tells the people that it is God who has sent Him, and it is God who told Him what to say. This might lead people to think that Jesus was merely programmed to do what He did, but that is not the case. What makes His sacrifice for us so amazing is that He chose to obey God’s instructions, when He could have refused.

Unfortunately, we know what it is like to disobey. In all of human history Jesus is the only one who was completely obedient to God, even unto death. God could have made us obedient, but that was not His plan for us. God created us for relationship with Him and wants us to choose Him in return. We have free will to make our own decisions, but there are consequences for every choice we make.

Jesus chose the path of obedience even though it was hard, and He tells us that when we choose Him, our way may be hard as well. However, it is the only way to be saved for eternity, and Jesus promises that reward is worth any hardship we face. We know our existence here is only temporary and our real home is in heaven.

Gracious God, we are grateful for the example Jesus gave and the love He shares with us. Help us to be a light in a dark world, sharing Your love everywhere. Amen.

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