Thoughts for the Day

Wednesday, 13th March 2024: Judged with love

Repentance Pharisees Jesus Love Sin Forgiveness Judgement John 5

Reading : Verses from John, Chapter 5

Jesus and the Pharisees

But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father is still working, and I also am working.’ For this reason the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because he was not only breaking the sabbath, but was also calling God his own Father, thereby making himself equal to God.

Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished. Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomsoever he wishes. The Father judges no one but has given all judgement to the Son, so that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father. Anyone who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent him. Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgement, but has passed from death to life.

‘Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself; and he has given him authority to execute judgement, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

‘I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgement is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


I liked to climb trees as a teenager when we lived in the countryside in Hampshire, and my brother and sister and I roamed the forest behind the house. I have a distinct memory of being told off one day for leaving my sister stuck up a tree because she was terrified of the chickens that roamed around the space below. I was judged and found wanting - but I never doubted that it was a judgement made out of love.

Books have been written on today's reading and on the relationship of God the Father to His Son Jesus Christ, but I draw your attention to one sentence: "The Father judges no one but has given all judgement to the Son." It is Jesus who judges us. He looked upon Simon Peter when he denied him three times on the day of his arrest, and he was judged. Yet it was a look not of anger, but of love (Luke 22.54-62). When someone like the rich young ruler turned down Jesus' offer to follow him, he was judged with love (Luke 18.18-25). Men and women recognized the difference between them and sometimes as with Peter felt guilty, they also recognised Jesus' compassion.

Human love can only be a pale reflection of the love that God has for us, but nevertheless it gives us an idea of how we can fail our Lord and how we are judged by Him. This Lent gives us time to reflect on our mistakes and to confess them to Him who will judge us with love.


Lord God,
we have sinned against you;
we have done evil in your sight.
We are sorry and repent.
Have mercy on us according to your love.
Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin.
Renew a right spirit within us
and restore us to the joy of your salvation,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

* From 'Common worship'.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to look up these prayers by John Birch:

Or play this piece of Taize music by the 7pm Sunday Choir:

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