"I know that His command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say." (John 12:50)
What does "His command" mean?Jesus is speaking of serving the Supreme Being, as Jesus indicates in the prior verse:
"For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it." (John 12:49)The word "command" from both verses is being translated* from the Greek word ἐντολή (entolē), which means "an order, command, charge, precept, injunction" according to the lexicon. This means that Jesus is clearly saying he is following God's orders. He is saying what God is commanding him to say. This means Jesus is saying he is serving God. He is receiving God's instructions. To follow someone else's instructions or commands means to serve that person.
He also connects "His command" to "eternal life" by saying that one leads to the other. What does this mean?
It means that serving God results in "eternal life." "Eternal life" means that we return to our natural condition as God's loving caregivers. The spiritual realm - where God personally dwells - is "eternal" because our spiritual bodies do not die as these temporary physical bodies do.
What did the Father tell Jesus 'to say'?Jesus says that God has told him what to say, and whatever he says comes from God.
The Greek word translated to "told me" here is λέγω (legō). This means, in this context, "describe" or "narrate" or "to teach" according to the lexicon.
This means that Jesus is not necessarily saying that God has physically spoken with him. He is saying that his teachings are coming from God. That he is teaching others what God has taught him.
What God has taught Jesus is about having a relationship with God. It is about loving God and serving God.
This sets up a loving relationship with the Supreme Being that reveals to Jesus what pleases the Supreme Being.
Once Jesus knows what pleases God, he can teach others. Without knowing what pleases God, Jesus can hardly represent God.
In other words, Jesus can speak for God because he knows what God wants.
Why must Jesus explain this?Because many do not know who God is, many followers and others could assume that Jesus was claiming to be someone he wasn't. For many, he was specifically stating that he wasn't claiming to be God.
Yet even today, many have assumed that Jesus must be God. This is short-sighted however because Jesus is clearly stating here that he is not representing himself - he is representing someone other than himself - the Supreme Being.
The reason this is important goes to evidence. If Jesus is coming up with his own philosophy he could make it up as he goes along. He doesn't have to adhere to the Truth.
But if a person claims to be representing God then they will be representing a higher power. Someone greater than themselves. This requires evidence in the form of being consistent with Scripture, with prior Prophets, and with the Holy Spirit within each of us - who teaches from within.
If a person's teachings are not consistent with these then there is a problem, because these are other means of communication from God.
Is this about God's authority?Yes, each of us has the choice of whether we want to accept God's authority or prioritize our temporary authority within this world.
Most of us here in the physical world consider our own authority as superior. This is why we are here, away from God. Because we made the choice not to accept God's authority.
If God's position was up for election we'd all be running for that position. But that position is not available. So we'll take the highest position we can take. And for those who cannot get positions with authority and power over large groups - whether it be companies, governments, populations, fans or followers - we will settle for having authority over our families, community clubs, or so-called friends.
Thus we each pretend to be experts and leaders, showing off our great wisdom with speeches, blogs, and news television shows.
Jesus, on the other hand, does no such thing. He does not take the position of being authoritative and wise. Instead, he says:
"So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say."Jesus could have easily taken the credit for all his wise parables and his miraculous healings. He could have even called himself the Supreme Being - as some do. But he didn't. He humbly clarified to his students that he was just following orders from God. He was God's humble servant - saying and doing what the Supreme Being wanted him to.
With his statement and his actions, Jesus is clarifying our path to leave this world of self-centeredness. Jesus is simply telling us that by becoming one of God's humble servants like he is, we will return to our natural position in the spiritual realm.
What is 'eternal life'?Jesus says that he knows that God's command leads to eternal life. How is that?
By nature, each of us is a servant. None of us are masters. We can't control anything except for making a choice. We can make choices, but we don't control what happens once we make a choice.
When a person loves another person, they naturally do what pleases them. This is called loving service. This is distinguished between forced service. We can see that God never forces us to serve Him - which is why those of us who don't want to serve Him are not serving Him.
We are happiest when we serve. When we serve the one we love, we have a sense of fulfillment. This is our nature, except serving the Supreme Being completes this sense of fulfillment.
Beneath our attempts to gain power and authority, love and loving service are what we are all seeking.
We all seek a place where everyone lives in peace and harmony, and everyone loves each other. We all seek a place where we are cared for and appreciated. We all seek a place where we are protected. This feels like home.
But this place is within our hearts. Each of us has this ability within us, deep within our soul each of us has the ability to love and serve God.
And we all seek that special person who will care for us and protect us. We all seek that person we can trust without a doubt. Someone who will never abandon us. Someone who will fulfill our needs. Someone we can turn to anytime who will listen to us and always be there for us.
This is the Supreme Being.
Jesus was in love with the Supreme Being. This is why Jesus walked the countryside for years with no home, no job, no source of income. This is why Jesus suffered on behalf of his teachings. This is why Jesus beseeched anyone he spoke to give their lives to the Supreme Being and serve God.
Jesus was doing what pleased his Beloved. He knew that God wants us all to come back to Him, because God loves us unconditionally. So Jesus, being in love with the Supreme Being, wants to please Him. This is why Jesus emphasized one particular teaching, just as Moses before him had:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)
*Here is the translation of Jesus' statement according to the Lost Gospels of Jesus:
“I know His instructions are eternal life; therefore the things I say, I say just as the LORD has taught me.” (John 12:50)