Wednesday, May 15, 2024


1 John 5:9-13

We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son.  Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.  And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:9-13 (NIV)

The Gospel of Jesus is relatively simple. We have it on good authority that Jesus Christ came, lived, died, and rose again, facts authentically supported by the testimony of the New Testament and other extra-biblical sources. But what does this mean? What difference does it make?

According to John's first letter, the fifth chapter, it is a matter of life and death: “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” Sounds simple enough. If you have Jesus, you have life, eternal life, life here and hereafter. If you don’t, you don’t.

Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? Jesus equals life; No Jesus, no life. We like wiggle room. We want to think that if people tend to do the right thing, have a different set of beliefs, or even another religion, they should get a pass. Certainly, God can save and give life to whoever or whenever God wants. Her/His business, not mine. However, Scripture is clear and straightforward: it’s all about Jesus. I have a lifelong experience with Jesus that has transformed me and continues to inform, guide, grow, and humble me.

When I was much younger, I would travel often on highways. One day, on the way home, I noticed a young man, a hitchhiker, and picked him up. In the short drive to Lincoln we had a lively spiritual conversation. I mentioned that there was only one way to God: through Jesus; I may have quoted John 14:6. His response shocked me, “Yes, but there are many ways to Jesus.” I didn’t know what to say, but it made me think. I wish I had asked him to tell me more. What do you think he meant?

I have had years to think about it. I truly believe that Jesus is God and that we can have eternal life in His name. I have met many people who have come to Jesus in many different ways and experiences. And I have met many more who are still on the journey, looking for something or someone to give their life meaning and purpose. I have a strong sense of purpose in sharing my story and testimony with them. How about you?

Questions for Reflection:

  • Is this eternal life exclusive to Christians, followers of Jesus?
  • What does “eternal life” look and feel like?
  • How do we acquire the Son?


Lord, thank you for the gift of eternal life in Jesus. Grant me the daily perspective to see life here and hereafter as a gift from your tender mercy. And give me the tender love and wise words to speak into the hearts of those traveling the journey searching for eternal life. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Eternal LifeSharing Faith

Posted by Michael Chaffee

Michael Chaffee is a retired Lutheran pastor, teacher, and school counselor. He enjoys reading, writing, reflective practice, and golf. He has been married to Michelle for 48 years; they have four grown sons and six grandchildren.

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