Today: You don't have to jump of a cliff or figure it all out. Just trust.

Don’t focus on understanding or believing really, really hard.
Just trust.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that whoever trusts in him will not perish but have life of the coming age.

You may have noticed that I translated the last phrase of John 3:16 “life of the coming age” rather than “eternal life.” In other words…

Whoever trust in him will have life of the coming age 

rather than

Whoever trust in him will have eternal life.

Along with N.T. Wright, I believe this is a much more accurate understanding of the Greek words (ζωὴν αἰώνιον, zōān aiōn). 

Jesus’ emphasis was not getting you into heaven when you die, or making it so you could live forever. The focus was on bringing the life of God’s Kingdom to you right now. That’s why he told his followers to pray,

“They Kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

It is quite true that the life of God’s coming age will never end. It brings hope that leads to life beyond the grave. But don’t wait until you die to live!

The Prayer of Trust

Dear Jesus, I do not always understand you.
But I trust you.

2 Comments
  1. Kathy Valleau 1 month ago

    Maury, I watched this 2x to be sure I “got” the message. The visual of the little boy climbing, not so smoothly, and finally settling, on his daddy’s shoulders really drove the message home. The child did not stop to contemplate the move. He merely trusted the love of the hands that held him and the strength that carried him.
    Question:
    What to do with theologians/pastors that take issue with your and Wright’s preference for “trust” over “believes” in Jesus – in one of the most beloved, memorized and quoted Scriptures? (I can think of one person now.)
    Are there any Bible translations where the Greek is translated “trust?” Because I know you personally, your background, humility, and deep faith and love of God, I “trust” in the accuracy of what you are presenting! And I trust in God! K

    “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.”

    • Author
      Maury 1 month ago

      Glad you like the image. It really spoke to me as well.

      As for your question, you’re right that there is a lot of deep and storm-tossed water around this issue. I have no problem with someone who wants to stick to the traditional translation and I don’t know of any version that uses the word “trust.” I could be over-parsing the word. After all, you can’t trust something without believing in it, and if you believe in something you will trust it.

      What I’m trying to distance myself from is the idea that “belief in Jesus” requires perfect theological understanding—”beliefs” if you will, or a heroic “leap of faith.” The object of our trust/belief is not our beliefs or our courage but Christ. The saving ship is sent from the other side. Our job is to get on board. We learn more about the Savior, sharpen our beliefs, and deepen our faith, as we sail home. But step #1 is to get on board. Safe passage is ensured by God’s faithfulness, not my imperfect faith and understanding.

      Not sure I got at what you were asking, but you gotta admit I worked a lot of great maritime images in there for my world-wandering friends. 🙂

      Sail on!

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