“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.”

The gospel reading today (Jn 3:31-36) follows John the Baptist’s response to hearing of Jesus’ popularity in His public ministry: “He must increase, I must decrease” (v. 30).  Some attribute today’s passage to John the Baptist, others tie it back to Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus, and still others simply have it as a further theological explanation of Jesus’ mission by John the Evangelist.  In any case, here Jesus is speaking of how He comes from heaven and relays what the Father has given Him.  He concludes with the words at top.  Again, we must emphasize that it is disobedience that militates against belief.  One cannot say he believes in Jesus and then go on to defy Him grievously.  If Jesus has the words of eternal life (Jn 6:68), then who are we to pick and choose what we follow and disregard or discard the rest?  We are reminded of the parable of the two sons (Mt 21:28-31) in which one son says “I will not” to his father’s request to work in the vineyard but does it anyway, while the other says “Yes, sir,” but does not go.  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” (Mt 7:21)  We must be the ones to say “Yes, Lord” and actually go into the vineyard of the world, doing the will of God, becoming his instruments to bring all persons into His kingdom.

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