Not of this world (John 8:23)
Jesus said to them: You are from below. I am from above you are of this world I’m not of this world.
– John 8:23
What a statement. I love the book of John. I love all of these words from Jesus like each verse is full of meaning. And it’s hard to pick a verse. Like John 8:12. Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” What a picture.
John 8:23 emphasizes Jesus’ divine nature
And then like John 8:23, which is a lesser-known saying: “You are from below. I am from above you are of this world I’m not of this world.” Just meditate on it. There is another world that Jesus lives for and he calls his followers to live for that world, not for this world. Look around the world today and consciously say, “I don’t live for this world. I don’t live for this world’s aspirations, this world’s joys, this world’s possessions, this world’s applause, this world’s praise. I live for another world.”
You say that if your eyes are on another world, you will consciously live differently in this world day after day. Jesus says this in so many different ways. Think about how he talks about possessions in this world. “Do not lay up treasures for yourselves on earth where moth and rust destroy, where thieves break in and steal.” Don’t live here for things. Collect treasures in heaven, in another world where moth and rust do not destroy, where thieves do not break in and steal, where your treasure endures.
John 8:23 calls us to live for another world
Remember Mark 10. Jesus said to a rich young man, “Go and sell everything you have. give it to the poor You will have treasures in heaven.” He is not calling him to live a miserable life. He now calls it the fullest life forever possible, if only he averts his eyes from this passing world, or one day all you see will fade. The joys, pursuits, possessions of this world, applause, praise of this world, it will not last. Live for a world where joys will last forever, where treasures will last forever, where your pursuits will last forever. Live today as if your eyes were on another world.
God help us. Lift up our eyes today to live for what matters forever. In a kind of Hebrews 11, help us to turn our eyes to another land. Philippians 3. “Our citizenship is in heaven.” We live for this place. God change, we pray, the way we use our possessions here. Transform what we are tracing here. Help us to live for Heaven’s approval alone. God help us to lead people to be a part of this world, the new heaven and the new earth. Lord, please give us, by your grace, give us the urgency today to share the gospel with the people in view of another world to come.
God, we pray that what Jesus said of himself will be said of us. He wasn’t of this world. He was from another world. God help us to live for another world, for a world where one day all nations, tribes and peoples and tongues will gather around your throne and praise you. God bring it about, we pray.
Praying for the Tamboli people
Use our prayers for the Tamboli of Bangladesh, this Muslim ethnic group of 130,000. None of them know Jesus. They don’t have access to the gospel. God please help us live to bring the gospel to the Tamboli and thousands of other peoples like them in anticipation of another world where Tamboli will be gathered around your throne to praise you. God help us to live today with our eyes on another world, on another country, on heaven. In Jesus’ name we pray according to Jesus’ words in John 8:12. Amen.