Not Of This World (John 8:23) - Radical

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 am not of this world.
– John 8:23

What a statement. I love the book of John. I love all these words from Jesus, like every verse is just packed with meaning. And it’s hard to pick a verse. Like John 8:12. Jesus says, “I’m 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’ Godly Nature

And then so John 8:23, so a lesser known saying, “You are from below. I am from above. You are of this world. I am not of this world.” Just meditate on that. There’s another world that Jesus is living for and he’s calling followers of His to live for that world, not for this world. Look around you at the world today and consciously say, “I’m not living for this world. I’m not living for the pursuits of this world, pleasures of this world, possessions in this world, applause, praise from this world. I’m living for another world.”

You say that consciously, day in and day out, you’ll live differently in this world when your eyes are fixed on another world. Jesus says this in so many different ways. Think about the way he talks about possessions in this world. “Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy, where thieves break in and steal.” Don’t live for stuff here. Store up treasure in heaven, in another world where Moth and rust do not destroy, where thieves do not break in and steal, where your treasure will last.

John 8:23 Calls Us to Live for a Another World

Think about Mark 10. Jesus saying to a rich young man, “Go sell everything you have. Give it to the poor. You’ll have treasure in heaven.” He’s not calling him to have a miserable life. He’s calling him now the fullest life possible forever if he’ll just get his eyes off of this temporary world or one day, everything you see is going to fade. The pleasures, pursuits, possessions of this world, applause, praise from this world, it’s not going to last. Live for a world where pleasures will last forever, where treasure possessions will last forever, where your pursuits will last forever. Live like that today, like your eyes are fixed on another world.

God help us. Lift our eyes today to live for what matters forever. Help us in a Hebrews 11 kind of way, to fix our eyes on another country. Philippians 3. “Our citizenship is in heaven.” We’re living for that place. God transform, we pray then, the way we use our possessions here. Transform what we are pursuing here. Help us to live for the applause of heaven alone. God help us to lead people, to be a part of that world, new heaven and a new earth. Lord, please grant us, give us by your grace urgency today to share the gospel with people in view of another world to come.

God, we pray that it would be said of us what Jesus said of himself. He was not of this world. He was of another world. God help us to live for another world, for a world where one day every nation, tribe and people and language will gather around your throne and give you praise. God bring it about we pray.

Praying for the Tamboli People

Use our prayers for the Tamboli people of Bangladesh, this Muslim people group, 130,000 strong. None of them know Jesus. They don’t have access to the gospel. God, please help us to live to get the gospel to the Tamboli people and thousands of other people groups like them in anticipation of another world where Tamboli people will be gathered around your throne giving you praise. God, help us to live today with our eyes fixed on another world, on another country, on heaven. In Jesus name we pray according to Jesus’ words in John 8:12. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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