“But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life.”
We have been surveying the use of the Greek word ζωή (life) in John’s Gospel. We first looked at an author’s commentary in John 1:4, and saw that already in scripture, the idea existed of a coming light in the form of a person: a son, a gift from God who will bring life to his dying people, and deliver them from darkness and death.2
Next, we visited Jesus by night, along with Nicodemus, (John 3:1-21) and learned that this gift would be God’s own Son, who would be lifted up like the desert snake,3 so that the ones believing in him might have permanent life.4 But those who do not believe will be condemned. Jesus did not go into detail with Nicodemus about the nature of that condemnation, but Nicodemus knew the fate of those Israelites who did not look in faith at the desert snake. They rejected the remedy. They died. They never made it to the promised land.
Then, we looked at the words of John 3:31-36, where we discovered there are two kinds of people. There are the believers (ὁ πιστεύων) in Christ, and the rejectors (ὁ ἀπειθῶν) of Christ. Only the believers will receive permanent life (ζωή αἱώνιος). The rejectors await God’s wrath, which will destroy them.
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