Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.”
Many people every day visit medical and health professionals because they suffer from any variety of ailments. Those visits have value only if the patients trust in the truth that the professionals tell them. Let us suppose that I consume a diet very high in sodium. Let us also suppose that my diet has caused my blood pressure to increase to a dangerous level. If I visit my doctor, and he tells me that my blood pressure is a result of my diet, and he asks me to change my diet in order to lower my blood pressure, I choose how I respond to that. A wise person would heed the doctor’s advice without offense. Only a fool would think that the doctor’s words of truth are words of judgment and ignore that good advice.
We have heard so many times that Jesus came for those who are sick and not those who are well. The doctor-patient metaphor is apropos here because we are speaking of a spiritual ailment and a spiritual cure. Jesus is like the doctor who gives us the facts, and the facts are that we are spiritually dead without him and are in desperate need of a savior. Those words are simply the truth. Some might think that those are words of judgment because they see themselves as generally good and pure of heart already. They take offense to being told that their hearts are desperately wicked. Yet, Jesus addressed that very perspective right here. The good news reveals the truth, but how we respond to that truth is what brings judgment.
This is a great lesson for us as we try to evangelize to a lost world. Many will attack us for being judgmental when all we are doing is sharing the truth of the gospel. Jesus did not come to judge the world, and we are not here to judge the world either. We are here to share his truth candidly and sincerely. For those who reject that truth, and by extension reject the author of that truth, they will be judged by that very truth. Like the sick man who rejects his diagnosis and the treatment that will cure him, those who reject the truth of Christ’s words will perish from their ailment. Father, help us to speak the truth in love and compassion so that we can keep some from this very judgment.